Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Giulio Carlo Argan, Henry Moore, New York, 1971, no. 216, another cast illustrated (titled Torso)
Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings, London, 1977, vol. IV, no. 601, another cast illustrated p. 56 and pls. 128 & 129
David Mitchinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculpture with Comments by the Artist, London, 1981, no. 450, another cast illustrated in colour p. 214
With its highly polished surface and a near-abstract manner, Pointed Torso brilliantly exemplifies this shift in the artist’s development and reflects the influence of Brancusi on his work. Giulio Carlo Argan wrote: ‘Brancusi considered form to be an object endowed with its own absolute spatiality, which resolves in itself the ambient space, crating the void. Moore’s contact with Brancusi was decisive. He credits Brancusi (and not the sculptors converted to Cubism) with eliminating the painterly or impressionistic modelling of the surface, the aura of sensitized and vibrant light and atmosphere forming the ambient space’ (G. C. Argan, op. cit., n.p.).
In the late 1960s Moore created several compositions, including Pointed Torso, using the pointed, almost piercing element that stands in sharp contrast to the soft curved forms that characterised most of his sculptural œuvre. Of these compositions, Pointed Torso is one that most resembles a human figure, as suggested by the title. As Moore explained, ‘the points are used to give action’ (quoted in D. Mitchinson (ed.), op. cit., p. 214). Whilst in some of the works these sharp forms define an inward action, as in Oval with Points (fig. 1) which has a Surrealist tone, in the present composition the points describe an action outwards, connecting the space of the figure with that of the spectator.
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