Horses are the sole subject of his art, whether they are made of mud, welded metal, tree roots or steel. Non-photorealistic, Deborah Butterfield's horses evoke the spirit of the animal by drawing attention to its architecture.
Born in San Diego, she said her depictions of horses, which are in museum collections across the United States, are metaphors for herself and intended to make a feminist statement.
Manuel Neri, who died in Sacramento in 2021 at the age of 91, was a prominent member of the “second generation” of the Bay Area figurative movement and widely known for his life-size plaster sculptures, which he often painted or in part. , and works in bronze, marble and clay. He conveyed an emotional inner state through the poses and gestures of his characters.
A native of Sanger (near Fresno) whose works are in major museums in the United States, Neri also painted, drew and made prints. He was a member of the art faculty at UC Davis from 1965 to 1990.
Works by Butterfield, 74, a former art student at the University of California, Davis, as well as Neri and other figurative sculptors will be the focus of a new exhibition, “A New Look at Sculpture,” which will open Jan. 10 at John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis. , where it will continue until February 23.
They include John Buck (Butterfield's husband), Shaun Burner, Franceska Gamez, Arthur Gonzalez, Ken Little and Michael Stevens. Like Butterfield and Neri, each looks, through their works, to humanist themes, Natsoulas said in a press release.
Featuring various sculptures – made from bronze, plaster, wood and ceramic – the exhibition “provides the opportunity for a close examination of the varied textures and forms made by these artists”, he added .
“Large-scale sculptures like Butterfield's life-size bronze horse and Shaun Burner and Franceska Gamez's 'The Guardian' demonstrate how expanding dimensions can convey the artists' unique perspective,” said Natsoulas, whose gallery is located at 521 First St.
The exhibition also makes statements about artists' use of materials, from Stevens and John Buck's use of wood to Ken Little's reuse of discarded shoes, lending a distinctive personality to the art to reveal their inner worlds.
Additionally, noted Natsoulas, “a look at the importance of teacher-student relationships, demonstrated through the juxtaposition of works by Manuel Neri and Arthur Gonzalez, highlights the continuing evolution of sculpture in modern art and contemporary. »
The show's opening reception will take place on January 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring live music and free refreshments.
Additionally, the gallery will host a panel discussion on February 3 with exhibition curator Sarah Poisner and artists Burner, Gamez, Gonzalez and Stevens. They will discuss their respective sculptural practices and their artistic associations with Sacramento.
Exhibition hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.