Kneeling Woman
© Estate of F.E. McWilliam

Reference URL

Kneeling Woman 1947

On Display Modern Two

'Kneeling Woman' was commissioned from McWilliam by the surrealist artist and collector Roland Penrose. The 'piercing' of the sculpture is similar to the work of Hepworth and Moore, yet McWilliam has retained a strong naturalistic element. The omission of the torso from his sculptures was a device developed by McWilliam throughout his career. In this, and other works featuring fragments of the body, there is a play between solid and space, and the viewer is invited to reconstruct the whole from its parts.

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.


Art based on the observation of objects rather than on theoretical or stylistic concerns.


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Commission, Naturalism, Surrealism


  • Acc. No. GMA 4403
  • Medium Cast stone
  • Size 146.00 x 54.00 x 55.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 2001