Large Blade Venus by William Turnbull

Large Blade Venus is the biggest sculpture in the Blade Venus series; balanced on its sharpest point, it exhibits a poised stillness.


317.5 x 99.1 x 68 cm
Art Fund grant:
£141,000 ( Total: £141,000)
Acquired in:
Waddington Galleries

Its imposingly elegant form derives from Japanese Samurai swords and Chinese chopping knives, but also recalls natural objects such as leaves, as well as archaic figures of Venus. By paring the sculpture down to essentials, Turnbull avoids the restriction of a single interpretation, echoing the deliberate ambiguity of Zen paintings. Left open to external changes of context and presentation and to the imagination of the viewer, Large Blade Venus is representative of Turnbull's idea of sculpture as both completed product and ongoing process. It was purchased and presented to the Fitzwilliam Museum in honour of Sir Nicholas Goodison, The Art Fund's Chairman from 1986 to 2002, who has been a longstanding admirer of Turnbull's work.


The artist.

Venue details

Fitzwilliam Museum Trumpington Street, CAMBRIDGE Cambridgeshire CB2 1RB 01223 332900

Entry details

Free to all

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun & Bank Holidays 12noon – 5pm Closed Mon, 24 – 26, 31 Dec and 1 Jan