© Estate of William McCance

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Cat about 1921 - 1922

On Display Modern One

  • Scottish Art
This sculpture marks a turning point in McCance’s career. Although it is not clear exactly when McCance began working in a semi-abstract style, by 1922 he had arrived at a highly stylised form of painting. This sculpture of a cat features in one of his paintings from about 1922 called ‘Primeval Movement’. The cat form appears twice, in the centre and as a larger form enveloping it. It may well present a mother cat protecting its kitten, a theme McCance treated in a more easily decipherable style in later years. As an object itself, this small sculpture, despite its abstract simplicity, has captured the characteristic curvature of a cat’s form. This contrasts with the angular manner in which the arch has been created.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.

Abstract art


  • Acc. No. GMA 5160
  • Medium Clayslip (glazed)
  • Size 7.00 x 9.30 x 6.50 cm
  • Credit Presented by Dr Margaret McCance 2011