Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge 1961 (LH 482a)


height 358cm

The origins of Moore’s evocation of the spirit of the famous Winged Victory of Samothrace could hardly have been more prosaic. Yet the simple principle of visualising a completed – indeed monumental – work from a fragment of natural material was unquestionably one of the sculptor’s strong points. In this case he simply added a base and head of plasticine to a piece of chicken bone before enlarging it in three stages. The largest version has become the best known, particularly in dramatic settings where the extreme contrast of breadth and thinness in the figure interacts with the panorama to sublime effect, while perspective changes as the viewer moves around it.

Catalogue entry by Michael Phipps in Six Leading Sculptors and the Human Figure, National Gallery, Cultural Olympiad, Athens 2004, p.438