Two Piece Sculpture No.7: Pipe
1966, cast date unknown
432 x 839 x 315 mm
Inscribed ‘Moore 0/0’ on base
Presented by the artist 1978
Artist’s copy aside from edition of 9
Technique and condition
A brush was used to apply a lacquer over the surface of the bronze to protect it and prevent it from tarnishing. However, the lacquer has begun to break down in places, which has allowed the bronze to tarnish in patches and streaks (fig.3). The tarnish is particularly evident on the most prominent surfaces at the top, probably due to handling over the years.
The two parts of the sculpture are fixed close together on the base. Two bolts have been used to fix one part and three bolts for the other. The base is likely to have been sand cast and has a smooth surface patinated an even dark brown colour. The artist’s signature ‘Moore’ is inscribed on the top of the base in one of the corners accompanied by the edition number ‘0/9’ (fig.4). The foundry mark ‘H.NOACK BERLIN’ is stamped on the side of the base at the same corner (fig.5).
How to citeLyndsey Morgan, 'Technique and Condition', March 2011, in Alice Correia, ‘Two Piece Sculpture No.7: Pipe 1966, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, July 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www
Seen from one side, the element with the extended beam is reminiscent of a smoking pipe – the arm may be understood as the long mouth-piece and the rounded form the tobacco barrel (fig.3) – which may explain the sculpture’s subtitle. This rounded element appears to have been constructed around a thin circular disk, from which bulbous forms extend on either side (fig.4).
The other piece of the sculpture comprises one side that is almost completely flat and smooth except for a single raised point or nipple, located just to the right of centre (fig.5). Like the bulbous forms of the accompanying piece, two protrusions extend out from the other side of this flat, disk-like surface (fig.6). The larger of the protrusions creates a diagonal arc from the lower left to the top right. Towards the lower part of this element is a large concave extension, which rests on the base.
From plaster to bronze
7 The remaining casts are believed to be held in private collections internationally. The original full-size plaster is held in the Henry Moore Sculpture Center at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and was a gift of the artist in 1974.
Origins and interpretation
Although the figurative references in Two Piece Sculpture No.7: Pipe are minimal, some commentators, including the curator Alan Wilkinson, have identified a sexual aspect to the way in which the ‘pipe’ attempts to penetrate the second form. Wilkinson argued in 1987 that in Moore’s work of the 1960s, there is ‘an overt sexuality rarely encountered in his earlier work’.22 Similarly, Bowness remarked that in Two Piece Sculpture No.7: Pipe ‘penetration of one form into another seems to refer obliquely to the sexual relationship, and the pipe is an obvious phallic form’.23 This interpretation is in keeping with Sylvester’s assessment of Moore’s two-piece series as a whole. The critic asserted in 1968 that ‘this series presents by far the most specifically sexual imagery in Moore’s work’.24 For Sylvester, what Moore had described as a ‘looming leg’ in Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1 1959 (fig.12), can in fact be understood as a phallus and it is possible to apply this interpretation to the projecting beam of Two Piece Sculpture No.7: Pipe.25 Sylvester supported his reading of the two-piece sculptures with reference to the drawing Two Reclining Figures 1961 (fig.13). The sketch towards the top of the page appears to be a drawing of Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1, while Sylvester’s description of the drawing below it seems to describe the act of fellatio: ‘the lower half is a huge mouth opened wide to receive an inexplicably elongated form sticking out of the torso’.26 Reflecting on the ‘erotic’ undertones of Moore’s two-piece sculptures, the artist’s biographer Roger Berthoud observed that ‘Two Piece Sculpture No.7 – Pipe is the most obviously phallic, but there is a recurring sense of upward straining or outward-thrusting members or of actual or imminent coupling in these bronzes’.27
The Henry Moore Gift
How to cite
Alice Correia, ‘Two Piece Sculpture No.7: Pipe 1966, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, July 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www