Not on display

Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925–2006
Wood on wooden base
Displayed: 340 × 300 × 60 mm, 1.4 kg
Bequeathed by David Brown in memory of Mrs Liza Brown 2003

Technique and condition

A one piece sculpture made up of a thick wooden disc pierced with the initials KY. The disk is permanently mounted on a small rectangular wooden base

The main part of the sculpture has two 30mm thick planks of oak wood, bonded along the grain, to form a thick slab. This slab has been saw cut into a disk 300 mm in diameter. The Two letters of the monogram form a pierced cut out; of which the down stroke of the K is also the left arm of the Y. The rectangular base is made of oak and measures 36 x 149 x 60 mm. The base is firmly attached, probably using wooden dowels as there is no magnetic response to any hidden steel element. The natural wood surface has been sanded and smoothed to a fine finish.

The artist stated that a liquid wax coating was applied to seal the wood in order to prevent dirt becoming ingrained. (Conservation Questionnaire sent to Bryony Bery, Conservation Researcher, Tate, in July 2005). Time has revealed that this coating is uneven with numerous missed patches, particularly in the undercut edge of the Y, lower outer edges of the disk and proper right edge of the base. This coating gives the wood a yellowish colour.

On acquisition there was some watermarking and staining on the reverse of the base and lower edges of the disk. These marks are not particularly disfiguring, although tests could be undertaken to establish the best future cleaning method. The sculpture will need to be displayed and stored in a controlled relative humidity to ensure the continued stability of the wood.

There is no artist’s inscription.

Sandra Deighton
August 2005

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