30 APRIL 1954, Page 10


THOSE whose knowledge of contemporary artists is gained rather from the daily Press than from exhibitions have of course by now pigeonholed Reg Butler. Useless to point out that the maquette for the Unknown Political Prisoner represented three figures gazing up at a tower and the sky, for the drawings and models of these figures, which occup:ed the sculptor on and off for some eighteen months, were never seen by the wider public (though they are to be shown at the Venice Biennale this summer) and the myth has now entered history that Butler was awarded £4,000 for live bob's worth of twisted wire. Anyone at all acquainted with his development knows that there is more to Butler than that. It seems unquestionable that this architect-turned- sculptor is one of the most original talents to have emerged in this country since the war. seen at its most unabashedly fashionable in the small study, No. 18. As a whole the big figure is one of sensitivity and power, within a surface of simplified sobriety, and confirms the view that Butler's talent Is likely to flower into a dozen unsuspected forms. M. H. MIDDLETON