Catalogue entry

T00386 STRINGED FIGURE 1938/60

Not inscribed.
Polished bronze with elastic string, 10 3/4×13 1/2×7 3/4 (27·25×34·5×19·75).
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1960.
Coll: Purchased by the Friends of the Tate Gallery from the artist 1960.
Exh: Another cast: Masters of Modern Art, Marlborough Fine Art, June–August 1960 (88, repr. pp.90 and 91).
Lit: Sylvester in Burlington Magazine, XC, 1948, p.164; Sylvester, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, 1951, p.16; Digby, 1955, pp.85–7; Neumann, 1959, pp.69–71; Grohmann, 1960, p.103.

The original idea for this sculpture was the lignum vitae and string figure of 1938, formerly in the collection of John Anthony Thwaites and lost in Poland in the early part of the 1939–45 war (6 in. high; repr. Read, 1944, pl.91b). ‘I came across the preliminary sketch for the sculpture (a small clay maquette) in my studio two years ago, and because I liked the original, and even thought the maquette was better than the wooden sculpture, I remade this sculpture in plaster, and had it cast into bronze in 1960; the idea is identical with the maquette’ (letter from the artist, 13 April 1961). The edition is of ten plus one artist's cast.

Moore's first stringed sculpture was made in 1937 and the others all date from the next two years. In part they may reflect the influence of Gabo, who settled in this country in 1935, but they also represent a development of the interaction of space and solid in Moore's sculptures in the later 1930s.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II