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Spatial Construction in Steel

Moss, Marlow, 1956-57, Sculpture 130 x 81.2 x 22.8

Marlow Moss was born in Kilburn, London, to a well-off Jewish family.  Against the wishes of her parents, she decided to become an artist, studying first at the Slade School of Art and later, after suffering a nervous breakdown, moving to Cornwall, where she studied architecture in Penzance.  Returning to London, Moss set up her own studio and became very interested in European Modernism.  She moved to Paris, where she apprenticed herself to Fernand Léger but became more influenced by the work of Piet Mondrian, producing highly stylised paintings  reminiscent of those created by Mondrian.  She changed her name from Marjorie Jewel Moss to Marlow Moss, cropped her hair and began to wear masculine clothes, favouring jodhpurs and a cravat.    In Paris, Moss met Nettie Nijhoff, the wife of a Dutch poet, who became her lifelong partner.  From 1940 they lived in Cornwall, in the fishing village of Lamorna, but Moss seems to have been reclusive and to have had no contact with the abstractionist artists, Hepworth and Nicholson, at nearby St. Ives.   Her ‘Spatial Construction in Steel’ dating from 1956-7, was bought with a contribution from the LACF in 2004 and was exhibited at Leeds Art Gallery as part of the Yorkshire Festival in the summer of 2014.