This sculpture was included in Witkin's first solo exhibition in 1963 while he was working as an assistant to Henry Moore.

It conveys the shift from a traditional ‘natural’ direct carving to the more Pop Art-like colourful structures which Witkin exhibited when he took part in The New Generation show in 1965. Birth’ is a very compelling piece of carving, using the natural form of the tree trunk, and then adding to it, as if it were both a plinth and a body, by placing the rounded organic two-part form on top. It seems to make reference to African sculpture (and to furniture and musical instruments) and to the collection of African sculpture which Witkin amassed over his career. The sculpture fits in well with Leeds exceptional sculpture collection as it links to sculptures by Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Austin Wright and David Nash.


By descent to vendor.

Leeds Art Gallery

The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA
0113 378 5350

Opening times

Monday, Closed
Tues – Sat: 10am – 5pm
Sun: 11am – 3pm

Exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery

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