• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12303

    Modern British & Irish Art

    17 March 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 59

    Reg Butler (1913-1981)

    Small head

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Reg Butler (1913-1981)
    Small head
    bronze with a brown patina, unique
    5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) high, excluding the base
    Conceived circa 1953.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Small head showcases Butler’s propensity for the human form. Exploring the dichotomy between sensuality and brutality, figures are often seen suspended on wire so that they hang in space, dissociated with the ground. Butler relished in the fragmentary, preferring to omit significant parts of the body to create a more expressive image of the figure, as seen in the present work, where only the head and neck remain. Executed circa 1953, the work marks a pivotal moment in the artist’s career, at a time when Butler won the international competition to create a monument dedicated to the Unknown Political Prisoner, thereby firmly establishing his reputation as one of Britain's leading sculptors.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 6 April 1960, lot 64, where purchased by the present owner.


    Exhibited

    London, Gimpel Fils, Collector’s Choice XIV, June 1967, no. 8.
    London, New Arts Centre, Sculpture 1950-65, May - July 1986, no. 10.
    London, Gimpel Fils, Reg Butler, September - October 1986, no. 43A.