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Working Model for "Locking Piece"

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Working Model for "Locking Piece"

Artist: Henry Moore (British, 1898 - 1986)

Date: 1962
Medium: Bronze
Overall: 41 1/4 x 38 1/4 x 38 1/4in. (104.8 x 97.2 x 97.2cm)
Signed: On side of base: 'Moore 6/9'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 66.86
Label Text
Locking Piece was made at a time when Moore was undertaking a series of monumental, outdoor, public commissions for UNESCO in Paris, Lincoln Center in New York, and the University of Chicago. This development was one of the consequences of his growing post-war success as an artist on the international stage and well supported by the British Council. Locking Piece is highly characteristic of this decade's work not only for its large scale, but also for its abstract, two-piece structure.

According to Moore, Locking Piece was "the largest and perhaps the most successful of my 'fitting-together' sculptures. In fact the two pieces interlock in such a way that the can only be separated if the top piece is lifted and turned at the same time." This statement reveals the hand-held, manual dynamic that energizes the sculpture. This also comes across in the other accounts Moore has given, in which he talked about playing with two interlocking pebbles, playing with a "sawn fragment of bone with a socket and joint" and being reminded of children's puzzles and toys when he made it. Locking Piece is thus very much "of the hand."

Jon Wood

© Henry Moore Foundation / Licensed by ARS, New York, NY