Kathy Butterly

James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize — 2012

This is an image of a clay sculpture piece.

Kathy Butterly, Cool Spot, 2012, clay and glaze, 5 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches, Courtesy Shoshana Wayne Gallery and Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Photo by Alan Wiener. © Kathy Butterly

Kathy Butterly is the tenth annual winner of the museum’s contemporary artist award.

The jurors wrote in their decision: “Butterly’s voluptuous ceramic objects explode traditional conceptions of earthenware art through careful manipulation of the medium, resulting in unconventional forms, colors, and surfaces. Her small, nuanced, labor-intensive sculptures are richly communicative and wildly imaginative. Each enigmatic work balances between humor and horror, seduction and repulsion, abstraction and figuration. Butterly masterfully harnesses these tensions to transform the familiar into something new and strange. She stands out as one of the most innovative artists of her generation.”


Monica Amor, professor of art history, theory and criticism, Maryland Institute College of Art 

Ian Berry, associate director for curatorial affairs and curator, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College

Irene Hofmann, director and chief curator, Site Santa Fe

James Nares, artist

Alma Ruiz, senior curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles