Large Spindle Piece 1974 (LH 593)


height 335cm

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes

This sculpture is based on a flint from which Moore made a casting in clay, but owes its origins to drawings from 1938 and is closely related to Three Points of 1939-40 (LH 211). Here, however, the points are not straining towards each other; they are bursting out of the sculpture on each side in a gesture of exploding energy. A maquette was modelled in plaster from which the working model was enlarged. The process employed by Moore in the late 1960s was to mark the maquette with a series of points. The working model was then built up in proportion with an armature of wooden stakes to give the outline of the sculpture, the end of each stake corresponding to the marks on the maquette. At the next stage a more accurate shape was achieved through the addition of string between the stakes and to this more plaster was applied.

After the bronze edition had been taken from this plaster it was sent to Italy to be enlarged and carved in Travertine marble. While at the stone quarries it was dropped and damaged. The piece was repaired and, on return to Moore, it was found that the cracks had merely been covered with shellac. Considerable restoration had to be carried out before the work could be exhibited. This is one of the few sculptures by Moore that exist in four sizes as, in addition to the Travertine marble carving at 4.5 metres high, an edition of large bronzes at 3.35 metres was also produced.

Text taken from Henry Moore by Claude Allemand-Cosneau, Manfred Fath and David Mitchinson, Prestel, 2009, p152-153.