Nearly everyone who sees Deborah Butterfield’s bronze sculpture, Berliner, could swear the abstract horse is comprised of wood. Actually, it is . . . sort of.
A foundry makes molds of individual wooden sticks and casts them in bronze for Butterfield who bends, cuts, and welds the bronze sticks into an armature or skeleton for a horse sculpture. She adds more sticks to fill out the form, applies a patina to the surface, heats the bronze, and adds several coats of pigment and chemicals—all to make the finished bronze look like real wood. See for yourself in the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.
CAPTION: Deborah Butterfield (b. 1949). Berliner, 1989. Bronze. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Weiss. 17.98
As of 06-14-2017 this object is on display in the Whitney Western Art Museum. If you are making a special trip, please double-check before visiting.