The symbolic, abstract figure of man is a recurring theme of Geoffrey Clarke's work, clearly demonstrated in the present work. The figure is a monument to nature and spirituality; his features are stem-like protrusions, emerging out from the main composition as if from a budding plant. In such early works, Clarke developed a personal, artistic language to convey what he perceived to be the deep, spiritual relationships between God and man, man and nature. This sculpture relates closely to a small iron work also entitled Man shown at the Venice Biennale in 1952 where Clarke exhibited with seven other 'Young British Sculptors', Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Turnbull, Reg Butler and Lynn Chadwick. Man is also akin to Clarke's works on paper, in particular the etching Man (1950).
The present work featured in an article about textiles entitled 'Development in Depth and Surface', which appeared in The Ambassador in October 1957 in which sculptures by Geoffrey Clarke, Robert Adams, Henry Moore, Nunez del Prado and Giacometti were shown draped with fabrics.
We are very grateful to Judith LeGrove for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.