Reg Butler 1913-1981
Reginald Cotterell Butler was an English sculptor.
He was born at Bridgefoot House, Buntingford, Hertfordshire to Frederick William Butler (1880-1937) and Edith (1880-1969), daughter of blacksmith William Barltrop, of The Forge, Takeley, Essex. His parents were the Master and Matron of the Buntingford Union Workhouse. Frederick Butler, formerly a police constable, was a relative of the poet William Butler Yeats; Edith was of Anglo-French descent.
Butler studied and lectured at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London from 1937 to 1939. He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War, being exempted from military service conditional upon setting up a small blacksmith business repairing farm implements. After winning the 'Unknown Political Prisoner' competition in 1953 he became one of the best-known sculptors during the 1950s and 1960s, and also taught at the Slade School of Art.
Butler's later work consists of lifelike models of female figures, such as Girl on a Round Base, which has something in common with Hans Bellmer and the sculpture of Allen Jones and prefigures the work of Ron Mueck.
Many of his works are held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Tate Gallery in London.
Butler was featured in the 1964 documentary film, "5 British Sculptors (Work and Talk)", by American filmmaker Warren Forma.
Butler married Joan Child in 1938; by his second wife, Rosemary (née Young; 1930-2019), a sculptor, who had been his student and later assistant, he had a son, Creon Adrian John Cotterell Butler, later a diplomat, and daughter, Cortina Maxine Ann Cotterell Butler, a director of literature for the British Council.
He died in Berkhamsted.
Beyond the Human Clay5 May - 18 Jun 2011In 1976 the great figurative painter and polemicist R.B. Kitaj organized a group exhibition for the Arts Council of Great Britain entitled The Human Clay. To mark the 35th anniversary...
Henry Moore and the Geometry of FearRobert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Geoffrey Clarke, Bernard Meadows, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull 11 Nov 2002 - 1 Jan 2003Exactly fifty years ago this year the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale presented a major exhibition entitled New Aspects of British Sculpture. Outside the pavilion the visitor was greeted...