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Like a number of British artists during the late 1920s and 1930s Underwood made sculptures with subjects drawn from Mexican, Native American and African sources. Underwood argued that his response to non-western art was motivated by a commitment to subject matter rather than style. This woodcarving made from English yew depicts three embracing figures. Its sense of balance and rhythm is enhanced by the polished surface and metal overlay. The sculpture was made at Underwood’s home and studio in Hammersmith, London, where he ran the Brook Green School of Art (1920-39). Henry Moore and Eileen Agar were among his students.

October 2013