Leon UnderwoodTorso: The June of Youth 1937

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Artwork details

Leon Underwood (1890‑1975)
Torso: The June of Youth
Date 1937
Dimensionsobject: 610 x 381 x 216 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1938
Not on display


After studying at the Slade School in 1919, Leon Underwood embarked on a prolific career as a sculptor, painter and print maker, producing an eclectic body of work. Torso: The June of Youth was made at Underwood’s home and studio in Girdlers Road, Hammersmith, London, from where he ran the Brook Green School of Art (1920-39), counting Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Eileen Agar (1899-1991) among others as his students. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Underwood remained strongly committed to subject matter, and more specifically to art of a figurative nature. This is evident in part in his many sculptural references to the torso as in Torso 1930 (Tate T02324) and Torso: The June of Youth 1937.

Throughout the 1930s Underwood explored the expression of rhythm and dance in sculpture using polished and reflective surfaces, as in Herald of a New Day 1932-3 (Tate T06887). In Herald and Torso: The June of Youth Underwood was applying his theory of ‘sculptural consciousness’ or the sculptor’s ‘awareness of the exact nature of the limitations of material and motive’ an idea that closely paralleled the popular concept of ‘truth to materials’ (Underwood, 1932, p.6)… (read more)

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