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This is one of a number of small iron sculptures made by Clarke in the early 1950s. He then had use of a studio with a forge in South Kensington, near the Royal College of Art, where he had studied. Many of the sculptures were of heads or masks. This head, with its sharp features, suggests a continuation of the Surrealist tradition in sculpture and the sophisticated simplification of African carving. In 1985 Clarke described 'Head' as 'one of my favourites' and its technique as 'oxyacetylene cut, heat it, belt it, weld it. Then form weld...Heat, oil (linseed) and with a carburizing flame blacken'.

August 2004