Born 1963, Amityville, New York
Lives and works in New York, New York
Kathy Butterly's colorful, cartoony, and richly ornamented vessels might be seen
as 3-D "cousins" to the
drawings of Robert Crumb on view in an adjacent gallery. The artist packs tremendous
sculptural and textural complexity, as well as interpretive potential, into
these tiny forms. She treats her whimsical objects with irreverence and wit,
transforming them into an army of small vessels bursting with anthropomorphic
personalities. Abstracted and playful, Butterly's vessels achieve the level of
imagined portraiture, both physical and psychological. They celebrate delicacy
and prettiness while acknowledging the unheralded grace of all things quirky,
klutzy, and odd. Beginning by shaping a perfectly symmetrical form in wet clay,
Butterly pokes and prods the piece until it slumps, caves, or twists into a
unique shape that recalls some aspect of a human body. She attaches appendages
and a foot; then with great formal precision and imagination, she dresses the
surface of each sculpture with a variety of techniques. Color, achieved through
laboriously layered glazes, plays an important role, producing a rich spectrum
Adkins, Gretchen. "The Pots of Kathy Butterly." Ceramics Art and Perception, no. 23 (1996): 29–31.
Chambers, Karen. "Next of Kiln." Art & Antiques, no. 20 (January 1997): 60–67.
Clark, Garth. "Rising Above the Polemic: Organic Abstraction in Contemporary Ceramics." Ceramics Art and Perception, no. 22 (1995): 3–11.
Del Vecchio, Mark. Postmodern Ceramics. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.
Smith, Roberta. "Art in Review: Kathy Butterly." New York Times, August 4, 1995.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery
Art in America