This work was carved at Forte di Marmi near Quercetta in Italy where Moore had a house and studio. As was his usual practice he had wandered around the Forte di Marmi stockyard looking at stones and was attracted by a piece of Portugese 'Rosa Aurora'. Moore said that the shape of the can be summarised as knife-edge separating an upward turning (a hand open to the sky) from a downward turning (a leg seeking the earth) movement. The whole is contained, with the minimum of carving, in the square shape of the original stone turned onto its corner, the knife-edge defining the diagonal. Moore presented this work to the Tate Gallery in memory of his friend, the poet and art critic Sir Herbert Read.
Gallery label, August 2004