Timothy J. McNeil – research / practice


Deborah Butterfield: P.S. These are not horses

For more than 50 years, Deborah Butterfield has explored the horse — both its form and presence. This exhibition encourages viewers to understand her sculpture as more than representations of the equine world. Taken from the closing line of a poem by Butterfield’s mentor, William T. Wiley, the title emphasizes the sculptor’s commitment to abstraction and her profound investment in material experimentation. The artist’s first solo museum exhibition in California since 1996, P.S. These are not horses surveys Butterfield’s career from her most recent wildfire sculptures to rare early works including ceramics made while studying at UC Davis. The exhibition design is conceptually rooted in the materiality of the artist’s work, the contours of the sculptures, the guidelines that contain the words of a poem on lined paper — all these are channeled into a “connection line” which weaves its way through the exhibition space providing dynamic sightlines and juxtapositions to the large-scale works, graphic elements and typography, and furniture and fixture configurations in the education lounge.

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, 35 objects, 5,500 sq. ft. Lead designer (70%) for exhibition concept and spatial planning, (10%) for detailing, staging and installation, and (90%) for graphics, identity and concept working with Hector Valdivia. Completed October 2023.