Leon Underwood (1890-1975)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Leon Underwood (1890-1975)

Joy as it flies (first state)

Leon Underwood (1890-1975)
Joy as it flies (first state)
signed and numbered 'U./Leon/I/I' (at the base)
bronze with a brown patina, unique
17 ½ in. (44.4 cm.) high, including wooden base
Conceived circa 1956.
with Kaplan Gallery, London.
C. Neve, Leon Underwood, London, 1974, p. 211, no. 173, illustrated.
B. Whitworth, The Sculpture of Leon Underwood, Much Hadham, 2000, p. 138, no. 169, illustrated.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

In 1945, Leon Underwood went on a trip to West Africa for the British Council. On his return, the artist wrote three books on West African art and largely abandoned carving and painting in favour of increasingly exuberant bronze sculpture which he cast himself. Joy as it flies captures the artist’s newfound technique as he folds back the skin of the sculptures to accentuate their volume.

'He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise'
(William Blake, Eternity)

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