Reg Butler

Girl

About this artwork

After the Second World War, Butler was among a number of British sculptors who felt that sculpture should respond to the nuclear age. As he remarked, 'Belsen, Buchenwald, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were very much in our minds'. In the early 1950s Butler moved away from forged work to create modelled figures cast in bronze. The architectural stand featured in this sculpture derives from Butler's earlier forged metal pieces. It can also be compared to contemporary works by Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, in which a cage device is used to hold the figure in empty space and accentuate its solitary nature.

  • title:
    Girl
  • accession number:
    GMA 809
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Bronze
  • date created:
    1957 - 1958
  • measurements:
    Base: 61.00 x 61.00 cm
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1962

Reg Butler

Reg Butler

Reg Butler was born in Hertfordshire. Although he trained as an architect, he began making sculptures in 1944, while working as a blacksmith during the Second World War. In 1950 Butler abandoned a career in architecture and became the first Gregory Fellow in Sculpture at Leeds University. He also began teaching sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, continuing to work there until his death in 1981. Butler's reputation was secured in 1953, when his design for a 'Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner' won an international competition, against entries from Alexander Calder, Naum Gabo and Barbara Hepworth among others.