Peter Startup
Up-Ended Figure 1961

Artwork details

Peter Startup 1921–1976
Up-Ended Figure
Date 1961
Medium Wood
Dimensions Object: 2629 x 737 x 457 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1963
Not on display

Catalogue entry


Not inscribed.
Pine, mahogany and teak, 103 1/2×29×18 (260·5×73·5×46).
Purchased from the artist through the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Grant-in-Aid) 1963.
Exh: I.C.A., August–September 1963 (1, repr.).
Repr: Living Arts, II, 1963, p.34 (three views).

The artist has commented on his preference for using discarded furniture, machine-moulded parts, machine-sawn planks, etc. 'I find these sympathetic to work with and less malleable than clay or plaster. What I like are their ready worked qualities; they suggest I use the tools that made them. They are part of the discarded junk of our suburban life and through them I want to find the relationships that surprise and excite me, and that project an image through the terms of classical sculpture - that is, in terms of space and volume.

‘It is with these assembled parts that I hope to find analogies with the sensuous, and discover qualities of compression, density and weight that will state the mood that has kept me going throughout the making of the work.’ (Quoted from the artist's statement in Living Arts, II, 1963, p.23.)

‘Up-Ended Figure’ was made in the artist's London outdoor studio in the summer of 1961 and took him two and a half months to complete. Soon after completion the design of the centre section and base was simplified.

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

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