The present work was previously in the collection of the John B. Putnam Jnr Memorial Collection, at Princeton University, where it was installed in 1970. Bride is considered to be one of the most important and monumental works by the sculptor, standing just under 8 feet high. The artist worked on the piece for over seven years, and Richard Calvocoressi in his article Reg Butler: The Man and the Work, has explained the circumstances around this extended creation period: 'One work in particular, made during this period, illustrated Butler's concept of an 'exploding mass'. The Bride, nearly eight feet high, occupied him intermittently from 1954 to 1961, after which date he began to work in the more organic material of wax. The figure has a top-heaviness reminiscent of the Edinburgh Girl of 1957-58, but the complete absence of arms and a massive build-up of modeling around the head give it the shape of a mushroom cloud. Butler worked on The Bride in the yard outside his studio, underneath the overhanging branches of a large tree. He later wondered whether the sculpture's nervously worked surface had not in some way stemmed from his subliminal awareness of the dappled effect of sunlight on foliage. He fully accepted the role of 'creative accident' in making sculpture, especially if it arose from the unpredictable character of the material Modelling in plaster, as opposed to clay, offered a fluid, rapid approach and the freedom to cut out as well as add. But it was the additive process which instinctively appealed to him, the idea of working outwards, of the sculpture growing in the studio, which the technique of oxy-acetylene welding also permitted' (Exhibition catalogue, Reg Butler, London, Tate Gallery 1983, p.28)
John B. Putnam Jnr Memorial Collection, Princeton University, 1970. Christie's, London, 12 June 1998, lot 96 Private collection, UK
- New York, Pierre Matisse, Reg Butler: RecentSculpture: 1959-1962, October - November 1962, no. 26, another cast exhibited. - London, County Council, Battersea Park, Open-Air Exhibition of Contemporary British and American Works, May - September1963, no. 7, another cast exhibited.- London, Hanover Gallery, Reg Butler: Sculpture and Drawings, July - September1963, no. 3, another cast exhibited.- Louisville, Kentucky, J.B. Speed Museum, Reg Butler: A Retrospective Exhibition, October - December 1963, no. 94, another cast exhibited. - Birmingham, Arts Council of Great Britain,Cannon Hill Park, Contemporary British sculpture: an open-air exhibition arranged by the Arts Council of Great Britain, April- May 1964, no. 4, another cast exhibited:this exhibition traveled to Accrington, Haworth Art Gallery, May - June 1964; Wollaston, Wollaston Hall, June - July 1964; Cheltenham, Imperial Gardens, July 1964; Middlesbrough, Albert Park, July - August 1964; and Bradford, Lister Park, August -September 1964.- Caracas, Galería Frietas, Reg Butler, March - April 1992, catalogue not traced.-Caracas, Galería Frietas, Postwar EnglishSculpture, August - September 2006, no. 12.
Exhibition catalogue, Reg Butler: RecentSculpture: 1959-1962, New York, PierreMatisse, 1962, n.p., no. 26, another castillustrated.Exhibition catalogue, Open-Air Exhibition ofContemporary British and American Works,London, County Council, Battersea Park,1963, n.p., no. 7, another cast illustrated. Exhibition catalogue, Reg Butler: Sculptureand Drawings, London, Hanover Gallery,1963, n.p., no. 3, another cast illustrated.Exhibition catalogue, Reg Butler: ARetrospective Exhibition, Louiseville,Kentucky, J.B. Speed Museum, 1963, n.p.,no. 94, another cast illustrated.P. Kelleher, Living with Modern Sculpture:The John B. Putnam Jnr. Memorial Collection,Princeton University, 1982, pp. 36, 38-39, no. 1.R. Calvocoressi, exhibition catalogue, RegButler, London, Tate Gallery, 1983, p. 28,another cast illustrated.Exhibition catalogue, Reg Butler, Caracas,Galería Frietas, 1992, p. 20, fg. 8.Exhibition catalogue, Postwar EnglishSculpture, Caracas, Galería Frietas, 2006,p. 25, no. 12, illustrated.M. Garlake, The Sculpture of Reg Butler,Much Hadham, 2006, pp. 83, 159, no. 211,fg. 73, another cast illustrated.