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date: 23 August 2019

Butt, Hamadlocked

(b Lahore, 1962; d London, Sept 1994).
  • Morgan Falconer

Extract

(b Lahore, 1962; d London, Sept 1994).

British sculptor of Pakistani birth. He studied at Goldsmiths College, London (1987–90). After initially working in a wide variety of media, Butt settled exclusively on installations in the late 1980s. Because of his early death little of his work has become widely known, but that which has demonstrates by an interest in alchemy and a thematic preoccupation with seduction, pleasure and danger. Transmission (1990; see 1995 exh. cat., p. 65) comprises a circle of objects that look like open books, resting on the floor. The glass pages reveal a triffid motif that is lit by dangerous ultra-violet light. The series Familiars includes some of his best-known work and is concerned with the dichotomy between physical impurity and divine grace. It also derives from his interest in chemical properties, each of the three parts employing a different member of the chemical family of halogens: Substance Sublimation Unit (1992; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 72–3) employs iodine confined in tubes set up in a ladder formation (the form was inspired by the mythical Santa Scala, or Holy Ladder of Perfection); ...

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