This picture is one of a number of works Sutherland made in the 1950s that were stimulated by memories of objects he had seen in factories and foundries as an official war artist during the Second World War. His main preoccupation during the 1930s and 1940s had been with organic forms. In works such as 'Hydrant' Sutherland extended this interest by exploring the relationship between organic and man-made forms. In 1972 he wrote: 'No doubt that these quasi machine forms were the result of my early training as an engineer but also there is rather more the question of my interest in the correspondence between machine and mechanical forms and natural forms'.
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Graham Sutherland OM (56)