Adam's IMPORTANT IRISH ART 8th December 2021

102 77 FREDERICK E. MCWILLIAM HRUA RA (1909-1992) Leg Figure D (1977) Bronze, 29.5cm high x 26cm wide x 9.5cm deep (11½ x 10¼ x 3¾’’) Signed with initials and numbered 1/5 Literature: ‘The Sculpture of F.E. McWilliam’, Denise Ferran and Valerie Holman, Lund Humphries in association with the Henry Moore Foundation, 2012, no.424, page 161. € 8,000 - 12,000 After Women of Belfast and Woman in a Bomb-blast and the Banners series, McWilliam began his series of Legs in 1977. It must have been a relief for the sculptor to turn from the deeply emotional subject matter of the Troubles to the beauty and playfulness of womens legs. In fact, McWilliam had begun One Pair of Legs and Two Pairs of Legs in 1971, before he began Women of Belfast and these legs informed his women caught in a bomb-blast and thrown off balance. Legs allowed McWilliam the freedom to model legs and attach these to different bodies and heads, such as a fish head resulting in the surrealist figure Lady into Fish and Magrittes Mermaid or Legs with Fig-leaf . One of this series was Leg Figure D which was included in the Tate retrospective exhibition of 1989. Patrick Heron wrote to McWilliam after visiting the Tate retrospective of his friends work: ‘I was fascinated by the hands and feet in all those 70s figures. Nobody else in this country has been able to do hands and feet like yours.’ McWilliam had countless drawings of womens feet and legs and collected large advertis- ing posters for womens stockings, which hung on his studio wall. The sculptor can achieve such expression and feeling in splayed toes and outstretched legs, as in Leg Figure D which resulted in Heron’s admiring observation. The Leg series continued from 1977 until 1981, ending with Ms Orissa which combined Legs Upended with a clothed head and shoulders, again masking identification. This series resulted in two large sculptures Umbil- icus , (FEMcWilliam Gallery) and the large sculpture of the Judo Players , (Derry City Coun- cil). Dr Denise Ferran