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This figure was made in a studio with a forge situated behind the Imperial College in South Kensington, using forging, oxyacetylene cutting and welding. It is a pair with a welded steel sculpture 'Man' of the same date. Common to both are prominent rib cages and raised arms. 'Woman' has vestigal breasts and the cup or chalice set on an altar before her represents an empty womb. 'Man' on the other hand has a more spiky rib-cage and a protective skirt of metal elements. The platform to which 'Woman' is joined was cut from the steel bottom of an oil storage tank. According to Clarke, the form of this pair, and a number of related small sculptures, originated from certain drawings by Picasso.

September 2004