Working Model for Three Way Piece No.2: Archer
1964, cast date unknown
776 x 788 x 652 mm
Inscribed ‘Moore 0/7’ on side of base and stamped ‘H.NOACK BERLIN’ on foot of sculpture
Presented by the artist 1978
Artist’s cast aside from edition of 7
Technique and condition
Following the completion of the casting and finishing process the sculpture was artificially patinated by applying chemical solutions to its surface, which reacted with the bronze to produce coloured compounds. The sculpture has a variegated brown patina that was probably achieved by using at least two different chemical recipes in varying concentrations. In certain areas the patina is transparent, which allows the lighter original colour of the raw bronze to shine through (fig.3). After patination the surface of the sculpture was lacquered to prevent the bronze from oxidising and changing colour. However, the lacquer has broken down in certain areas, which has speckled the patina and allowed the colour of the bronze to become duller over time (fig.4). A slight green haze can also be seen on one part of the sculpture. This may not have been induced artificially but may have been caused by chemicals in the air when the sculpture was displayed outdoors. In contrast to the sculpture’s variegated patina, the bronze base is a uniform dark brown.
How to citeLyndsey Morgan, 'Technique and Condition', March 2013, in Alice Correia, ‘Working Model for Three Way Piece No.2: Archer 1964, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, September 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www
Two cantilevered protrusions project from one side of the horizontal bridge at right angles to the other elements of the sculpture. One has a rounded elliptical face and emerges smoothly from the joint between the wedge and the bridge, while the other, which has a flat, circular face, extends out from a swelling close to the midway point of the crocked column (fig.3).
From plaster to bronze
9 After calculating the measurements of the enlarged sculpture, a wooden armature was made to the required size and shape (fig.9). Each rod was precisely measured so that its outward-facing end corresponded with a ‘landmark’ or specific point on the surface of the sculpture as measured from the maquette.10 It is notable that Moore attached a strut running from the horizontal section to the base when constructing the armature. This provided additional support for the curved wedge as it was built up in plaster.
Working Model for Three Way Piece No.2: Archer was cast in bronze at the Noack Foundry in West Berlin in 1965, and the foundry mark ‘H.NOACK BERLIN’ is stamped on the supporting leg (fig.12). In 1967 Moore stated, ‘I use the Noack foundry for casting most of my work because in my opinion, Noack is the best bronze founder I know ... Also, the Noack foundry is reliable in all ways – in keeping to dates of delivery – and in sustaining the quality of their work’.12 The sculpture was probably made using the sand casting technique, but the finely polished surfaces obscure definitive evidence as to which casting method was used.
After it was cast and finished the bronze sculpture was probably then returned to Moore so that he could inspect the quality of the casting and decide how it should be patinated. A patina is the surface colour of a sculpture and is usually achieved by applying chemical solutions to the pre-heated bronze surface. In 1963 Moore asserted, ‘I always patinate bronze myself’, explaining that since he had conceived the sculpture it would be unlikely that anyone else would be able to replicate the exact colour he wanted.13 However, it is known that over time, as Moore increased his rate of production, technicians at Noack would sometimes patinate his sculptures at the foundry. In these instances Moore was nonetheless able to make later adjustments to the patina in his studio if necessary.
Sources and interpretations
How I came to call it ‘The Archer’ is that the two forms in the middle of the sculpture, not at the top and not at the bottom, in the middle, to me have a kind of stretch in them, and one end is the shape of a bow and this to me at one stage just reminded me of pulling and stretching a bow, and that’s why we call it ‘The Archer’.18
Sylvester identified the phrases ‘key points’ and ‘pushing through’ as illuminating Moore’s newly articulated interests. He identified ‘passages where the surface is straining to contain something “pressing from the inside trying to burst” suddenly alternate with passages where the pressure is relaxed’.28 Sylvester attributed this shift to ‘a new extreme concentration on tactile and motor rather than visual sensations – on what is experienced in running one’s hands over the body, responding more sharply to its hardness and softness, its hollows and bumps, than when looking at them’.29 For Sylvester, the dynamic variations in the surfaces of the ‘hard and soft’ sculptures demand to be experienced in tactile rather than optical terms, resulting in a sequential, fragmentary experience. He concluded that ‘in no other works has Moore taken such risks. And this reflects a further change of attitude – a growing acceptance, indeed, a positive courting, of imperfection, incompleteness’.30
The Henry Moore Gift
How to cite
Alice Correia, ‘Working Model for Three Way Piece No.2: Archer 1964, cast date unknown by Henry Moore OM, CH’, catalogue entry, September 2013, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015, https://www