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This is an almost life-size and life-like sculpture of a naked girl. It is one of four such sculptures that Butler made in collaboration with his partner, Rosemary, between 1968-72.

The erotically contorted figure writhing on a mattress shares much with Bacon’s paintings of reclining figures. Butler greatly admired Bacon. Intriguingly, during the 1960s Bacon often told the critic John Russell that he wanted to make realistic, painted figurative sculpture. Bacon never realised this ambition, but Butler’s figures seem quite close to the ideas he expressed to Russell.

April 2005