I understand
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1932 – 2000

Gyroscope Nude
Oil on canvas
146 x 102.2 cm
Purchased with the aid of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Wakefield Permanent Art Fund © Estate of Euan Uglow. Photography Norman Taylor

Uglow captured his model’s exact pose through linear mark making, using mathematical measurements to create an exact reflection of her proportions. This pursuit of truth through scientific accuracy was a method Uglow adopted while studying at Camberwell School of Art in the late 1940s, taking particular influence from his tutor William Coldstream.

The surface of the painting carries many small horizontal and vertical marks where Uglow has mapped the coordinates of the body. These signs of measuring and drawing are left visible on the canvas, revealing the history of its making and emphasising the flatness of the picture surface.