Spindle Piece

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Large Spindle Piece (LH 593) at Miyagi Museum of Art in Sendai, Japan
Oval with Points (LH 596)

Spindle Piece is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore. Unusually, the sculpture was made in four sizes: a plaster maquette cast in bronze as Maquette for Spindle Piece (LH 591) in 1968, a larger plaster working model which was also cast in bronze as Spindle Piece (LH 592) in 1968, a larger series of bronze sculptures Large Spindle Piece (LH 593) cast in 1974, and the largest model, known as The Spindle, carved in travertine in 1981.

Background[edit]

The work is part of Moore's Spindle series of sculptures, which was exhibited in Hyde Park in London in 1968. The series was inspired by a detail of Michaelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, where God’s hand reaches towards Adam’s finger. The sculpture is an amorphous twisting flowing form, pierced by a hole, with a point bursting out from each side. The opposite points suggest the possibility of rotating the convoluted work. Moore said, "Sculpturally, [Michaelangelo's painting is] two points just about to meet. This work is on the same theme, only the two fingers are going out, not in."

Moore also drew inspiration from a piece of flint, cast by Moore in clay, and drawings from 1938; and the work is related to his 1939 work Three Points (LH 211): Moore said, "Here again the points are used to give action: inwards in the case of the Three Points, but here to give action outwards."[1] Another sculpture with a similar theme but with inward-facing points is his Oval with Points (LH 596).

Detail from the Sistine Chapel ceiling

Maquette[edit]

Moore first made a maquette in plaster which was cast in bronze in 1968, 16 centimetres (6.3 in) high, known as Maquette for Spindle Piece (LH 591).[2] An example is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.[3]

Spindle Piece[edit]

The maquette was enlarged into a plaster working model 84 centimetres (33 in) high which was cast in bronze at the Art Bronze Foundry in London in 1968 in an edition of "10+1" (one being retained by the artist) known as Spindle Piece (LH 592).[4]

Examples of the bronze working model are displayed at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan, and the Modern Art Centre José de Azeredo Perdigão in Lisbon. One in private hands was sold at Sotheby's in February 2013 for £301,250.[5]

Large Spindle Piece[edit]

The working model was then enlarged to create an edition of "6+1" bronzes (including the artist's cast, numbered "0/6"), cast by the Hermann Noack foundry in Berlin in 1974, entitled Large Spindle Piece, which is 3.35 metres (132 in) high.

The Large Spindle Piece casts are displayed at:

The large model was enlarged again and carved in travertine marble in Italy in 1981; the work, known as The Spindle, is 4.5 metres (180 in) high and weighs about 70 tons. The stone sculpture was dropped in Italy and required extensive repair before it was shipped to the US to become the centrepiece of a fountain in the lobby of the InterContinental Miami which was built around the monumental sculpture. It is the largest sculpture by Moore in private ownership.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Three Points, Tate Gallery
  2. ^ Maquette for Spindle Piece, Henry Moore Foundation
  3. ^ Maquette for Spindle Piece, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  4. ^ Spindle Piece (Hakone), Henry Moore Foundation, and Spindle Piece (Lisbon), Henry Moore Foundation
  5. ^ Sotheby's
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Houston: Large Spindle Piece (Houston), Henry Moore Foundation; Large Spindle Piece, City of Houston; Buffalo Bayou's British Connection, the World Class Art of Henry Moore
  8. ^ Large Spindle Piece (Jeddah), Henry Moore Foundation
  9. ^ Large Spindle Piece (Hakone), Henry Moore Foundation
  10. ^ Large Spindle Piece (Sendai), Henry Moore Foundation
  11. ^ Large Spindle Piece (Raleigh), Henry Moore Foundation; Large Spindle Piece, North Carolina Museum of Art
  12. ^ Large Spindle Piece, Courtauld Institute of Art
  13. ^ Henry Moore sculpture lands at King's Cross station, The Guardian, 8 August 2014; Large Spindle Piece (London), Henry Moore Foundation; Large Spindle Piece is Unveiled at Kings Cross, Henry Moore Foundation, 8 August 2014; Henry Moore sculpture unveiled at King’s Cross Square, Network Rail, 8 August 2014
  14. ^ InterContinental Miami; Intercontinental Miami, Lobbymania