Henry Moore OM, CH

Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece

1962, cast 1963

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 498 x 711 x 330 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1963
Reference
T00603

Catalogue entry

Entry

Henry Moore 'Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece' 1962, cast 1963
Fig.1
Henry Moore
Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece 1962, cast 1963
Tate T00603
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece is an abstract bronze sculpture comprising two thin, irregularly shaped forms positioned next to each other on a bronze base in an almost parallel arrangement. From most angles the curvilinear edges of each form overlap, so that different configurations are established when seen in the round. Moving around the sculpture in this way reveals that the breadth of the two forms is emphasised from the longer sides of the sculpture (fig.1), while their thinness and verticality are enhanced from the two shorter sides (fig.2). The elliptical gap between the forms can be seen from two of the corners, which also reveals some surfaces to be slightly concave (fig.3).
Henry Moore
Fig.2
Henry Moore
Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece 1962, cast 1963 (side view)
Tate T00603
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Henry Moore 'Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece' 1962, cast 1963
Fig.3
Henry Moore
Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece 1962, cast 1963
Tate T00603
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

The larger of the two pieces features a prominent rounded notch cut into its upper edge that curves up to a tall, sharp-tipped spur with a flat top (fig.4). This end of this form drops smoothly down to the base, whereas the other end splits into two planes separated by a deep fissure. One is thinner and slightly taller with a more curvaceous vertical face, while the other is thicker with a sheer flat face. An oval-shaped projection emerges from the side of the more curvaceous form and marks the tallest part of the sculpture (fig.5).

Sources

Acquisition and critical reception

Alice Correia
October 2013

Notes

1
Henry Moore cited in David Sylvester, ‘Henry Moore talking to David Sylvester’, 7 June 1963, transcript of Third Programme, BBC Radio, broadcast 14 July 1963, p.18, Tate Archive TGA 200816. (An edited version of this interview was published in the Listener, 29 August 1963, pp.305–7).
2
In 1968 Moore explained that ‘at one time I used wire netting in making the armature, but this caused immense trouble when I made alterations which are always necessary in enlarging the maquette into a full size sculpture. Now for the armature I use only wood struts and scrim, a form of open sacking’. Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.345.
3
Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 4: Complete Sculpture 1964–73, London 1977, p.11.
4
Henry Moore, letter to Dennis Farr, 15 October 1963, Tate Artist Catalogue File, Henry Moore, A23945.
5
Henry Moore sales log book, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
6
Moore, letter to Farr, 15 October 1963, Tate Artist Catalogue File, Henry Moore, A23945.
7
Ibid.
8
Henry Moore cited in Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, London 1966, p.278.
9
Ibid.
10
Ibid.
11
Mary Moore, ‘Working Model for Knife Edge Two Piece’, in Gregor Muir (ed.), Henry Moore: Ideas for Sculpture, exhibition catalogue, Hauser & Wirth, London 2010, p.156.
12
Moore cited in James 1966, p.278.
13
Moore, letter to Farr, 15 October 1963, Tate Artist Catalogue File, Henry Moore, A23945.
14
Albert Elsen, ‘The New Freedom of Henry Moore’, Art International, vol.11,no.7, September 1967, pp.42–5.
15
Henry Moore sales log book, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
16
Harry Fischer, letter to John Rothenstein, 15 July 1963, Tate Public Records TG 4/2/742/2.
17
John Rothenstein, letter to Henry Moore, 19 July 1963, Tate Public Records TG 4/2/742/2.
18
Tate also acquired Bacon’s Study for Portrait on Folding Bed 1963 (Tate T00604) from this exhibition.
19
Nigel Gosling, ‘Vision and Nightmare: Art’, Observer, 14 July 1963, p.27.
20
Ibid.
21
Joseph Rykwert, ‘Moore a Londra’, Notiziario: Arte Modern, September 1963, Henry Moore press cuttings, 1963, Tate Archive.
22
[David Thompson], ‘New Work by Henry Moore and Francis Bacon’, Times, 12 July 1963, p.5.
23
Ibid.
24
Bryan Robertson, ‘Moore and Bacon’, Listener, 25 July 1963, pp.127–8.
25
For example, most of the essays in Jane Beckett’s and Fiona Russell’s edited volume Henry Moore: Critical Essays (2003) addressed works made prior to 1960, with the exception of two essays on Atom Piece 1964–5.
26
Peter Fuller, Henry Moore: An Interpretation, London 1993, p.46.
27
See, for example, John Read, Portrait of an Artist: Henry Moore, London 1979, p.96.

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