Knife Edge Two Piece 1962-65 (LH 516)


length 418cm

One of Moore’s earliest two piece sculptures, the hollows and holes of his previous work give way to the complete division of this sculpture into separate but integral parts. Moore explained:’ I realised what an advantage a separated two piece composition could have in relating (forms) to landscape . . . Once these two parts become separated, you can justifiably make it a landscape or a rock.’ The space created between the two forms not only permits vistas of the surrounding environment through the sculpture - contributing to the blending of art and nature, but invites one to physically enter the sculptural space. The viewer becomes not just a spectator but a participant.

Embodying the feeling of a journey through a magnificent landscape, the gap between the two forms allows just enough space for passage between the narrow chasm walls. The shapes rise and fall unexpectedly; a sharp edge cuts across the sky. Smooth amber curves are relieved by roughly textured areas with traces of deep natural green patina. Moore has achieved a sense of equilibrium, a delicate balance between elegance of line and monumentality. The original inspiration came from a bone fragment. Moore admired the structural and sculptural properties of bones, their combination of lightness and strength, and referred to the bones of birds in particular as having the ‘the lightweight fineness of a knife-blade’.