The next editions of the fairs return to Regent’s Park from 13 – 17 October, alongside Frieze Sculpture and Frieze Viewing Room.
The long awaited Henry Moore show opens at Frieze Masters and then transfers to the gallery, from 20 October to 17 November 2021.
This comprehensive exhibition includes important early carvings and bronzes and rare drawings.
A substantial catalogue with text by Judith LeGrove is available from the gallery, £20 plus p&p.
Baby’s Head, 1926
10.16 x 10.16 x 15.24 cm.
Mr & Mrs Rowland Howarth
Thence by descent
David Sylvester (ed.) and Herbert Read, ‘Henry Moore Complete Sculpture 1921-48 vol.I,’ London 1990, no.35, illustrated p.7
David Mitchinson with intro. by Peter Osborne, ‘Henry Moore,’ published by Osborne Samuel, 2015, p.21
Unseen for decades this is Moore’s first cast sculpture, depicting his sister Elizabeth Howarth’s new born daughter Mary. It has remained in the Howarth
family ever since.
15.2 x 13 x 9.6 cm.
Signed on back of neck
Shuzaburo Yasuda, Tokyo (acquired from artist, c.1936).
Private Collection USA c.1990
Berkeley Square Gallery, London
Private Collection UK, 2006 (purchased from the above)
A. Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, London, 1988, vol. 6, p.24, no. 105a (illustrated).
Carved in 1931, this unique alabaster bust is a wonderful example of Moore’s early primitivist work. In 1924, Moore became intrigued by the Mexican masks housed at the British Museum and the theme of the face as a metonym for the soul and personal identity would become a pervasive theme in his work. Head showcases both his passion for natural forms and his ethos of direct carving; with its refined and delicate contour, this elegant bust recalls the simplicity of non-Western masks, while also referencing the organic qualities of new Modern Western sculpture, Surrealists like Alberto Giacometti and the impossibly smooth surfaces of Constantin Brancusi. For Moore, the human head was an important origin of artistic inspiration, and he claimed the head as “the most expressive part of a human being” (Henry Moore in David Mitchinson, ed., Henry Moore Sculpture with comments by the artist, London, 1981, p. 45).
In creating Head, Moore also chose to include one of his trademark structural innovations: the hole. “A piece of stone can have a hole through it and not be weakened–if the hole is of studied size, shape and direction…The first hole made through a piece of stone is a revelation. The hole connects one side to the other, making it immediately more three-dimensional” (Henry Moore, “Notes on Sculpture,” in Henry Moore; Sculpture and Drawings, New York, 1949, p. xli). Moore integrated the hole in many of his most iconic sculptures, including his famed Reclining Figures, in order to articulate shape and depth. The use of a hole at the nape of the figure’s neck alludes to three-dimensionality without disrupting the placid smoothness and solidity of the alabaster. Moore wrote:
The year 1931 was very important for me because I became more conscious of forcing forms in depth. It is easy to carve both sides of a sculpture, but I had a real desire to make a three-dimensional form by thinking of it also from within, and not only as a solid object like a tree trunk. The division between the breasts and the hands, even going right through to the other side of this girl figure, was the beginning of the ‘hole’ period for me. I had used holes before, in 1928, making an eye that goes right through the head of the sculpture, but not for a three-dimensional form reason (quoted in J. Hedgecoe, Henry Moore, New York, 1968, p. 63).
With a small hole, Moore converts his reductive, virtually abstract Head, into a symbol not only the simplicity of human expression, but most basic realism of the human form. With its organic curvatures and slim incised lines, especially the curvy line that traverses the center of the face and neck, Head is designed to be subtle, enigmatic, almost totemic.
Moore’s devotion to direct carving, the method he employed in creating this work, was founded on the belief that the sculptor, using his own hands, should allow the inherent nature of his material to shape the character of the subject he created. In Head, Moore emphasizes the smoothness of the alabaster in the shape he conceived, one that mimics a pebble shaped by natural forces. A great admirer of organic selection and formation, Moore manifested his devotion to nature in this sculpture.
In the early 1930s, Shuzaburo Yasuda, the first owner of this work, studied sculpture at the Tokyo National College of Art. In 1936 he traveled to the United Kingdom where he visited Henry Moore’s studio in Hempstead, forging a friendship that would last through the war.
18.5 x 14.5 x 5 cm.
The Leicester Galleries, London
Malcolm MacTaggart, Esq., Welwyn (purchased from the above 1931)
Sotheby’s, London 01/07/1987. Lot 307
Private collection USA
Private collection UK
Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawing, Lund Humphries, 1944, No. 87 (pl.54)
Terence Mullaly, ‘Collectors Pieces’ in the Daily Telegraph, Oct 13th 1961 illustr.
Ionel Jianou ‘Henry Moore’ Paris 1968, p.67, no.75, catalogued
D. Sylvester (ed.)
Henry Moore, edited by Christopher Stephens, published by Tate Publishing, 2010, no 25, illustrated, p.112
Leicester Galleries, London, 1931 ‘Exhibition of Sculpture & Drawings by Henry Moore, 1931. No.4
Marlborough Fine Art, Henry Moore: Stone & Wood Carvings (loan exhibition in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund), 1961, no.31, illustrated.
Henry Moore, Tate Britain, 24 February – 8 August, 2010, no 25, illustrated, p.112
Intriguingly one of the drawings which prefigure the small number of ironstone heads is annotated by Moore with the words ‘Profile Pebble’. The significance of this is difficult to ascertain, although Moore does refer specifically to pebbles that, “show nature’s way of working stone.” This small group of delicately carved slender profile heads in lustrous ironstone significantly stand apart from his work of the early 1930s. Various drawings from the time contain clues to the conceptualization, the sharply drawn profile in silhouette. Exhibited together at the pivotal Leicester Galleries 1931 exhibition, one was acquired by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg for their permanent collection, Moore’s very first sale to a museum.
76 x 45 x 48 cm.
Acquired by Philippe Dotremont, Brussels, circa 1950, subsequent to the exhibition in Bern, 1950 but before the publication of the Tate Galley exhibition catalogue in 1951.
Carlo Ponti & Sophia Loren
Private European Collection
Berkeley Square Gallery, London
Private Collection, UK
Sculpture & drawings by Henry Moore, exh. cat. Tate Gallery, London, arranged by the Arts Council of Great Britain on the occasion of The Festival of Britain, 1951, fig.22
Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Munich, 1967, ill.pl.88
Robert Melville (ed) Henry Moore Carvings, Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1967, illustrated.
Robert Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture & drawings 1921-1969, New York, 1970, no.91 illustrated.
Elda Fezzi, Henry Moore, 1977, ill.p.11
Charles Harrison (ed), Unit 1, Portsmouth, May 1978, ill.p.37
Franco Russoli & David Mitchinson, Henry Moore, Escultura, Barcelona, 1981, no.84, ill. p.59
Alex Robertson et al (ed) Surrealism in Britain in the Thirties, Leeds, 1986, ill.pp.210-211.
Susan Compton, Henry Moore, London, 1988, ill.p.64
David Sylvester (ed) & Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1921-48, vol.1, London, 1990, no.138, ill.p.84
Cercle d’Art (ed), Moore 1898-1986, Paris, 1996, ill. pl.28
Henry Moore, Sculpture of the 20th Century, exh. cat. Dallas Museum of Art, 2001, illustrated in photographs pp.67, 213
Henry Moore, edited by Christopher Stephens, published by Tate Publishing, 2010, no 49, illustrated, p.132
London, Mayor Gallery. Unit 1, April 1934, no 30 as Composition (Corsehill stone)
London, New Burlington Galleries, International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Henry Moore, 1946
Bern, Kunsthalle Bern, Henry Moore, 1950, no.23 (illustrated in the catalogue)
London, Marlborough Fine Arts, Henry Moore: Stone & Wood Carvings, 1961, no.16
London, Marlborough Fine Arts, Art in Britain 1930-1940 centred around Axis Circle Unit One, March-April 1965, no 83 (illustrated in the catalogue)
London, The Tate Gallery, Henry Moore, July-September 1968, no.29 (illustrated in the catalogue)
Florence, Forte Belvedere, Moore e Firenze, 1972, no.19
London, Royal Academy, Henry Moore, September-December 1988, no 19 (illustrated in the catalogue)
London, Tate Modern, Surrealism: Desire Unbound, 2001-2002, no.39 with tour to Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Saint-Paul de Vence, Foundation Maeght, Henry Moore – Retrospective, 2002, no.39
Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, London, February-August 2010, no 49
Ideas for Sculpture, 1942
Pencil, wax crayon, charcoal (rubbed), watercolour wash, pen and ink
22.5 x 17.3 cm.
Signed ‘ Moore.’, lower right and inscribed ‘ Seated figure.’ center left;
Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York (by 1955).
Erna Futter, New York; Estate sale, Christie’s, New York, 15 May 1986, lot 181.
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner
Osborne Samuel, London
Henry Moore Sculpture and Drawings , with an introduction by Herbert Read, published by Lund Humphries, first published 1944, illustrated p. xxxii
A. Garrould, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Drawings 1940-49 , London, 2001, vol. 3, p. 156, no. AG 42.148 (illustrated p.156).
As its title implies this working, energetic sheet is a graphic rehearsal or blueprint for possible sculptures and contains both reclining, seated and figures with internal forms, themes which were to dominate Moore’ s career. Elements hark back to the surrealist tendencies from the late 1930’ s but also formal sculptural resolutions have evolved on the sheet and are familiar in works from the 1940’ s onwards. The energetic application of layers of mixed media echoes the bony, taut surfaces of the sculptures. The memorable drawing ’ Crowd looking at a tied-up object (1942) recalls Yves Tanguy’ s ocean-bed surrealism. Ideas for Sculpture , though a set of un-related studies rather than an independent or cohesive narrative, contains a similarly elusive feeling of mystery and atmospheric flux.
Standing and Seated Figures (Verso: Ideas for Sculpture), 1942
Pencil, wax crayon, coloured crayon, watercolour wash, pen and ink, gouache
18.4 x 25.4 cm.
Signed lower right in pen and ink
Fischer Fine Art
Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1961
Lord Cottesloe, London
Private Collection, South Africa
Private Collection, USA
Osborne Samuel, 2013
Private Collection, UK
Henry Moore Complete Drawings; Volume 3 (1940-49) , edited by Ann Garrould, published by Lund Humphries, no. AG 42.125; HMF 2026, recto & verso illustrated page 149
Reclining Figures, 1943
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayons, pen, ink & wash on paper
45.6 x 64.7 cm.
Signed & dated lower left 'Moore 43' & with various inscriptions by the artist
Private Collection, Chicago (acquired before 1950 & thence by descent)
Private Collection, USA
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings, vol.3, 1940-49, Aldershot, 2001, no.AG43.107; HMF 2156, ills.p.196
Stanford, Iris & B Gerald Cantor Centre for Visual Arts, Stanford University, on loan, March 2000
This drawing is reminiscent of a work from the same period Reclining Figures: Ideas for Stone Sculpture, 1944, in which each figure appears in an individual pod in a subterranean setting, recalling the mysterious fascination that caves in hillsides and cliffs held for the artist. Moore’s interest in underground landscapes had previously been expressed in his ‘Shelter Drawings’ series of 1941, depicting figures taking refuge in the London Underground during the Blitz, and in his coal mining drawings of the same year.
Six Reclining Figures, 1944
Pencil, watercolour, colour crayon, pen and black ink on paper
38.8 x 54.6 cm.
Signed and dated lower left and inscribed 'Reclining Figures for terracotta Oct 6'
Christie’s London, 1999
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich
Private Collection, UK
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings, vol.3, 1940-49, Aldershot, 2001, no.AG44.75; HMF 2259a, p.228-229
The six reclining figures in this wartime drawing are beautifully drawn ideas for sculpture typical of the artist’s working method. The six figures are isolated in space and float on ledges. These ideas were developed in a drawing from the same period Reclining Figures: Ideas for Stone Sculpture, 1944, in which each figure appears in an individual pod in a subterranean setting. Moore’s interest in underground landscapes had previously been expressed in his ‘Shelter Drawings’ series of 1941, depicting figures taking refuge in the London Underground during the Blitz, and in his coal mining drawings of the same year.
Family Groups, 1944
Pencil, wax crayon, watercolour, pen & ink on paper
20.2 x 16.5 cm.
Signed & dated 'Moore/44' lower right, inscribed 'Family Group' upper centre & inscribed '21' upper right.
Private Collection, UK, 1954
James Kirkman, London
Piccadilly Gallery, London
Osborne Samuel, London
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore, Complete Drawings, vol.3, 1940-49, Aldershot, 2001, no.AG44.20; HMF 2241a, p.214-215
From the Rescue Sketchbook, page 21. The early part of this sketchbook contains various studies for textile designs and family groups which may date to 1943. The latter part to preliminary sketches for The Rescue, a melodrama by Edward Sackville-West published in 1945 including reproductions of Moore’s drawings.
Ten Studies for Family Group, 1949-50
Pencil, ink and gouache on paper
29.2 x 24.2 cm.
Signed and dated 'Moore 49' recto and signed and dated verso 'Moore 50.'
Fischer Fine Art, London
A,Garrould, Henry Moore, Complete Drawings 1940-1949, Vol.3, Much Hadham, 2001, p. 276, no. AG 47-49.79; HMF 2468
D. Mitchinson, Henry Moore: Prints and Portfolios, Geneva 2010
Verso: ‘Study for Family Group’
Coloured crayon, wax crayon, watercolour wash
The sketch on verso is used in the 1949 collograph CGM 5
A group of a dozen or more maquettes owes its origin to an unrealised commission for Impington Village College, in Cambridgeshire. When the educationalist Henry Morris approached Moore, in the 1930s, it was with an inspirational vision to create a centre for the surrounding villages, designed by the architect Walter Gropius, to integrate art, music, lectures, plays and films into everyday life. Moore instantly lighted upon the subject of the family, as most appropriate. Although funds proved insufficient to fulfil the project at the time, the idea took root. In 1944, Morris again contacted Moore, who began to make sketches, then maquettes of family groups. Some were intended to be enlarged as bronze sculptures, but most were envisaged as stone carvings, Moore’s preferred medium for Impington. After nine months’ work, however, the project foundered, partly through lack of money, and partly due to the Education Authority’s lack of enthusiasm for Moore’s maquettes. Some years later, the ideas were developed as two significant commissions: Family Group (1948-9), in bronze for Barclay School in Stevenage, and Family Group (1954-5), in stone for Harlow New Town.1
Contemplating the Impington commission, Moore filled two sketchbooks with family groups. The compositions varied between one- and two-children families, with the children (of different ages) seated or standing. Some are more abstract than others, some figures contain holes, others have vestigial or split heads. The female figure is often swathed in a shawl or dress, and sometimes a blanket is draped, tenderly, over both figures’ knees. Moore regarded these sketches not only as generating ideas for sculpture but as a means of clarifying the subject in his mind: with a battery of possibilities before him, he could choose which to refine and take forward. In conversation with David Sylvester, Moore later identified the family group as his last significant subject to be developed through this process of drawing. 2
1 See Moore, in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations (Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2002), p. 89, 273-5.
2 Henry Moore in ‘Henry Moore Talking to David Sylvester’ (7 June 1963), BBC Third Programme. See also Alice Correia, ‘Maquette for Family Group 1945 by Henry Moore OM, CH’, Tate Research Publications (2014)
16 x 14 x 11 cm.
Signed on the base "To Ann Zwinger from Henry Moore"
Collection of the artist. Collection of Ann H. Zwinger.
By descent, Ann H. Zwinger Trust.
Orebro, Sweden, 1952
Dimensions include the artist’s base Height 2cm; 3/4 in
The recent, spectacular exhibition of Moore’s Helmet Heads at the Wallace Collection in 2019 demonstrates their enduring fascination. Moore had visited the Wallace Collection in the 1920s and made drawings of armour, recording details that found their way into his sculptures – most intensely during the 1930s to 1950s, but sporadically throughout the course of his life.
Early intimations of Moore’s Helmet series appear in his drawings in the mid-1930s. Helmets morph into heads, skulls contain blanched structures, branching within them. From these seedling ideas developed Moore’s first metal sculpture. The Helmet (1939–40), originally in lead, is a slender vertical structure. Two holes, piercing its top, appear as eyes. Most importantly, however, it encloses a separately cast inner form suggesting a figure, planted on two stubby legs. The upright form of this figure, in combination with the womb-like enclosure of the outer shell, suggests a mother and child.
Moore, in fact, cited multiple sources for the series that unfolded from this startling composition. In addition to the Wallace Collection, he recalled that his early interest in armour had been informed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he wandered at lunchtimes as a student. ₁ He also linked The Helmet’s origin to Wyndham Lewis ‘talking about the shell of a lobster covering the soft flesh inside’. The carapace protects a vulnerable interior, just as a mother shields her child:
The helmet … became a recording of things inside other things. The mystery of semiobscurity where one can only half distinguish something. In the helmet you do not quite know what is inside. ₂
It is an intriguing line of thought, and one that Andrew Causey probed by juxtaposing Moore’s The Helmet with Epstein’s Rock Drill, which likewise shelters an embryo inside its mechanistic ribcage. ₃
Moore’s use of lead for the early versions of the Helmet series was a practical solution to casting his own work. Lead could be melted at a relatively low temperature, from sections of piping, and cast outdoors. Later, Moore cast these same sculptures in bronze to make them less vulnerable to damage. But again, there was an alternative reading. Moore described the original versions as ‘more expressive because lead has a kind of poisonous quality; you feel that if you licked it you might die’. ₄
Helmet (1950) is a maquette for the first numbered sculpture in the series. It has a more open, simplified form from the front, while the back has two pointed apertures and a series of slits, suggesting vents. Echoing this, the inner form is both pointed and curved, containing its own sharp slit. To the top are two circular holes. The catalogue for the Wallace Collection exhibition related the overall shape of this sculpture, with its prominent circular air vents, to the German ‘coalscuttle’ helmet – the M1916 Stahlhelm, which was a sought-after souvenir for British troops in World War I. Moore would have seen such helmets during combat in 1917. ₅
Yet, unlike the larger version of Helmet Head No. 1, the maquette is unique and possesses a distinct history. Cast in 1950, it was chosen in 1952 by Moore and Fritz Eriksson (Head of the Swedish Arts Council) as part of a touring exhibition destined for a year-long tour of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany. An installation photograph shows the two maquettes for Helmet Head No. I and Helmet Head No. 2, side by side on a plinth. To the left is Moore’s stone Composition (1932), subsequently bought by the Tate, and to the right, Half-Figure (1929) in cast concrete, purchased by the British Council in 1948. On the walls, enlarged photographs of further works by Moore indicate the breadth of his practice as a sculptor. Sold to its only owner, Ann Zwinger, in the early 1950s, the maquette for Helmet Head No. 1 was in fact a substitution for a different lead sculpture, which was damaged in transit. The maquette’s base touchingly records this provenance, bearing both the British Council’s exhibition label and the handwritten dedication ‘To Ann Zwinger, from Henry Moore’.
₁ Moore, in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations (Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2002), p. 214.
₃ Andrew Causey, The Drawings of Henry Moore (Lund Humphries, 2010), p. 99.
₄ Moore, in Moore: Head-Helmet: An Exhibition to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the University of Durham (Durham: DLI Museum and Arts Centre, 1982), p. 1
₅ Tobias Capwell & Hannah Higham, Henry Moore: The Helmet Heads (London: The Wallace Collection, 2019), p. 86.
Square Form, Head, 1952
15 x 15 x 6.8 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition of 9
Edition of 9
Private Collection, USA, 1980
Osborne Samuel, London, 2011
Private Collection, UK
Alan Bowness, ed, ‘Henry Moore Complete Sculpture,’ Vol 2, London, 1986, no.344a, p.49
Draped Reclining Figure, 1957
31 x 63.5 x 23 cm.
Edition of 11
Marina & Willy Staehelin-Peyer Collection, USA (Acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection, UK
Alan Bowness, ed.’ Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1955-64, Vol.3, London, 1965, no:412, ill. of another example p.30. pls 38 & 39
Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan (permanent collection)
In a letter to Dr. Staehelin, Moore describes the casting of his recently finished piece, ‘Draped Reclining Woman’.‘ I am going to have it cast in Berlin, as I have been given the name of a very good bronze foundary which can cast it without delay … Of course I shall have to go to Berlin myself to see the cast as it gets near completion, so that I am sure that it is well done and entirely satisfactory’ (Henry Moore, unpublished letter to Dr. Staehelin, December 5, 1958)
Henry Moore Archive: Drapery played a very important part in the shelter drawings I made in 1940 and 1941 and what I began to learn then about its function as form gave me the intention, sometime or other, to use drapery in sculpture in a more realistic way than I had ever tried to use it in my carved sculpture. And my first visit to Greece in 1951 perhaps helped to strengthen this intention . . . Drapery can emphasise the tension in a figure, for where the form pushes outwards, such as on the shoulders, the thighs, the breasts, etc., it can be pulled tight across the form (almost like a bandage), and by contrast with the crumpled slackness of the drapery which lies between the salient points, the pressure from inside is intensified . . . Drapery can also, by its direction over the form, make more obvious the section, that is, show shape. It need not be just a decorative addition, but can serve to stress the sculptural idea of the figure.
Henry Moore quoted from Sculpture in the Open Air: A Talk by Henry Moore on his Sculpture and its Placing in Open-Air Sites, edited by Robert Melville and recorded by the British Council 1955; typescript, copy in HMF library
Working Model for Seated Figure: Arms Outstretched, 1960
63.5 x 50.5 x 50.5 cm.
Edition of 9
Private collection New York
Berkeley Square Gallery, London, 1994
Private Collection, UK (since 1994)
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, 1955-1964, vol. 3, London, 1986, no. 463a, illustration of another cast pp. 98-99
David Mitchinson, ed., Celebrating Henry Moore, Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation, London, 1998, no. 192, illustration of another cast n.p.
Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts, Henry Moore, April 1969 – January 1970, no. 2, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to Bratislava, Mirbach Palace & Palffy Palace, June 1969 – January 1970; and Prague, Central Bohemian Gallery, September 1993- January 1970.
Lefevre Gallery, London, 1986 (another cast)
Manchester, Castlefield Gallery, Henry Moore: an Exhibition of Sculptures and Graphics, January – February 1987, no. 2, another cast exhibited.
Chandigarh, Government Museum and Art Gallery, Henry Moore, India 1987, October 1987, no. 1, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to Bombay, Jehangir Art Galery, October – November 1986; Baroda, MS University Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, November 1987; Bhopal, Roopankar Bharat Bhavan, December 1987; Madras, Lalit Kala Academi, January 1988; Bangalore, Chitrakala Parishath, February 1988; Calcutta, Birla Academi, March 1988; and Jaipur, Lalit Kala Academi, April 1988.
Marlborough Gallery, London, 1988 (another cast)
Pforzheim, Reuchlinhaus, Henry Moore: Ethos und Form, July – August 1994, no. 3, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to Bad Homburg, Sinclair-Haus, September – November 1994.
Krakow, BWA Gallery, Henry Moore: A Retrospective, March – May 1995, no. 88, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to Warsaw, Centre for Contemporary Art, May – July 1995.
Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Henry Moore Sculture Designi Incisioni Arazzi, August – November 1995, no. 88, another cast exhibited.
2017, The Light Box, Woking, Henry Moore: Sculpting from Nature
2018, Poland: Henry Moore: The Power of Nature
Plaster for this bronze is in the collection of the Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham, UK. The plaster was made in 1960, the bronze edition was cast in 1984.
The maquette for the sculpture dates back to 1960 and the genesis for it is a piece of flint from Moore’s extensive collection of found objects which covered the shelves of the maquette studio. He has moulded in plaster a head and upper torso onto the flint and the rare circular base contributes to a flamboyant and somewhat playful composition, surely to be seen in the round. Poignantly the enlargement of the 1983 working model was underway when Moore died in 1986 and present day visitors to the studios can still see the giant blocks, some cut, some marked up ready for the saw, frozen in time.
Maquette for Square Form with Cut, 1969
20.5 x 20.4 x 13.5 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition of 9 on the back of the base
Edition of 9
Annely Juda Fine Art, London (acquired from the artist in 1971)
Private Collection (Acquired from the above, 1971)
Osborne Samuel, London
A. Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, 1964-73, London, 1977, no. 597 (another cast illustrated, p. 57).
Maquette for Square Form with Cut (1969) is a sculpture in its own right, beautifully conceived and realised. Softly patinated, its intimate scale draws the viewer close, to experience first its weight and compactness, then its gentle tilt, encouraging light to gleam upon and enhance its contours. The most satisfying aspect of the maquette is its completeness: despite the cut and void, its surfaces are seamless, its proportions inviting the hand to reach into the centre and lift it. Thus it is intriguing to follow its transformation into one of Moore’s largest sculptures.
Not long after completing the maquette, Moore began to plan an exhibition for the Forte di Belvedere, a sixteenth-century fortress overlooking the city of Florence. Using maquettes and photographs, he envisaged the layout. In the case of Square Form with Cut, he installed first a working model in polystyrene, then a full-sized version in polystyrene and plaster, assembled on-site at the Forte di Belvedere. The final version, 5.45m high and weighing 180 tonnes, was carved from white Italian marble, cut into sixty horizontal sections to facilitate transport and lifting, by crane, over the ramparts. In images of the finished work in 1972, superbly photographed by David Finn against the skyline of Florence and its distant mountains, the ribbing of these sections can just be seen, adding a rhythmic texture and stratification to the sculpture. Moore made versions of the intermediate-sized working model in concrete, fibreglass and black marble. Each has its own aptness, while the maquette, as fons et origo, represents the idea’s unelaborated essence: the vital germ of the idea.
Working Model for Reclining Figure: Bone Skirt, 1977-1979
35 x 69 x 36 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition of 9 on the base
Edition of 9
Private Collection, London
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture 1980-1986, vol. 5, London, 1986, no. 723, p. 34-35 & pls. 124 & 125.
The classic sculpture Reclining Figure – Bone Skirt, is one of Moore’ s most recognisable and iconic figures. This is the working model for a marble sculpture which was owned by his daughter Mary and was subsequently reworked as a monumental carving in travertine marble dating from 1978. At the time Moore was spending the summers at a villa he had built near the Carrara quarries in Italy. Moore observed in 1931: “The human figure is what interests me deeply, but I have found principles of form and rhythm from the study of natural objects such as pebbles, rocks, bones, trees, plants … bones have marvellous structural strength and hard tenseness of form, subtle transition of one shape into the next…”
Moore returned again and again to the reclining figure, initially inspired by the early Mexican Chacmool sculptures he saw at the British Museum in the 1920s. The subject re-occurs throughout his career with infinite variations of form and line, here the use of drapery to accentuate the shape and continuous line of the body.
I want to be quite free of having to find a ‘ reason’ for doing the Reclining Figures, and freer still of having to find a ‘ meaning’ for them. The vital thing for an artist is to have a subject that allows to try out all kinds of formal ideas – things that he doesn’ t yet know about for certain but wants to experiment with, as Cézanne did in his ‘ Bathers’ series. In my case the reclining figure provides chances of that sort. The subject-matter is given. It’ s settled for you, and you know it and like it, so that within it, within the subject that you’ ve done a dozen times before, you are free to invent a completely new form-idea.
Henry Moore quoted in John Russell, Henry Moore , Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London 1968, p.28
Reclining Mother and Child II, 1979
7.3 x 18.2 x 8 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition on the base
Edition of 9
Private Collection, USA
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture, 1955-1964, vol. 5, London, 1986, no. 779, p.182
Height includes the artist’s bronze base
Mother and Child: Circular Base, 1980
13.3 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm.
Signed and numbered from the edition at back of bronze
Edition of 9
The Artist, May 1981, from whom acquired by
Private Collection, New Zealand
Private Collection, U.K.
With Berkeley Square Gallery, London, 2003, where purchased by
Private Collection, U.K. by whom gifted to the present owner
Private Collection, U.K.
Osborne Samuel, London (Formerly Berkeley Square Gallery)
Alan Bowness, Henry Moore: Volume 6, Complete Sculpture, 1980-86, London, 1999, p.37, cat.no.790 (ill.b&w., another cast)
Rome, Vigna Antoniana, Henry Moore, 1981
Ravenna, Moore, Sculture, disegni e grafica, 1986 no.13 (illustrated)
Height excludes base.
A cast is owned by the Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, UK
Mother with Twins, 1982
12.8 x 8.5 x 11 cm.
Signed and numbered on the base
Edition of 9 + 1
Marlborough Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above in June 1983
Henry Moore, 85th Birthday Exhibition: stone carvings, bronze sculptures, drawings (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1986, illustration of another cast p. 66
Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore Complete Sculpture 1980-1986, vol. 6, London, 1986, no. 873, illustrations of another cast p. 54 & pl. 114
Dimensions include artist’s bronze base
A cast from the edition is owned by YaleCenter for British Art