Modernist Art Sculptor – Henry Moore

Henry Spencer Moore (1898-1986), was a British sculptor and one of the most famous artists since World War II; he devoted his life to art and received honorary degrees from Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge and other universities, Was awarded the British Order of Honour.

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Moore loved sculpture since childhood and taught himself sculpture knowledge. In the early years, he was influenced by Cubism and black sculpture, and began to make sculptures with simplified shapes. He only chose a few themes and created them with different materials, showing the pursuit of simple abstract beauty. Moore entered the Royal Academy of Arts in London at the age of 21 with a talent for sculpture, and then traveled to Italy. His works have changed from the traditional sculpture to portray sacred heroes, sages, political leaders or athletes, successfully conveying the human life experience in the form of art, focusing on human body shape and showing a profound concept of human nature.

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Moore is known for creating large-scale abstract sculptures that are found in public art around the world. Figures of the human body, especially “Mother and Child” or “Reclining Figures” are the most common themes in Moore’s work. Except for the short-term use of family group images in the 1960s, the themes of his works are mostly female figures. The most characteristic feature of Moore’s works is that they usually contain holes or the main body is penetrated. Its undulating curvilinear shape is believed by many to be inspired by the rolling hills of Yorkshire, where he was born.

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Moore’s niece once asked him why his titles were so simple, and Moore replied:

“All art should have a sense of mystery and require the participation of the audience. If you give a sculpture or painting a clear name, the mystery will be lost, the audience’s attention will be easily removed, and the work will not be difficult to grasp. The connotation. People think he/she is watching, but not really watching.”

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Moore’s “Reclining Figure” Series

From 1929 to 1959, Moore created numerous “reclining figures”. As early as the ancient Greek era, the figure of the reclining knees, this shape frequently appeared in plastic art. Moore’s “Reclining Image Series” is the continuation of this shape in modern sculpture. However, the perfect human nudes in ancient Greece all embody humanity rather than divinity; while Moore’s human statues are simple and abstract, they seem to have more mystery.

Moore places great emphasis on the change of the sculptural form itself, so his sculptural works often change the original structure of the human body. Moore would rather require a sculpture to be like a “living” stone, rather than requiring them to be exactly like a living person, nor to express human thoughts and emotions meticulously. Because he felt that the stone and sculptural forms themselves already contained the ideas he wanted to express.

Henry Moore sculptures for sale Henry Moore Reclining Figure (9) Henry Moore Reclining Figure Henry Moore Reclining Figure Henry Moore Reclining Figure Henry Moore Reclining Figure Henry Moore Reclining Figure Henry Moore sculptures for sale


“The King and Queen”

bronze statue 161.3 cm high, 1952-1953 in the Scottish moor

In this work, both the king and the queen have a hole in their head, which is like an eye but not an eye; the face is very grotesque, like a mask, inhuman and inhuman, and the body is thin and long, in the shape of a flat leaf. The whole work is concise and clear, without too many details.

Moore once stated about his own work: “I am afraid, the clue to understanding this group of statues lies in the head of this ‘king’, which is a combination of crown, beard and face, symbolizing the original kingship and an animalistic” A mixture of Pan’s (faun in Greek mythology)-like temperament. The stance of the ‘king’ is more calm and confident than that of the ‘Queen’, which is more dignified. The hand and I have the opportunity to make them more realistic to express my ideas further. I want to illustrate the contrast between human gentleness and the original concept of imperial power.”

Moore pursues the transcendence of nature, rather than a delicate characterization. The works he produces have always been based on natural prototypes, and try not to change the spirituality rendered by nature.

Henry Moore sculptures for sale King and Queen 1952-3, cast 1957 by Henry Moore OM, CH 1898-1986



Oval with Points

The sculpture is a flat oval ring with rounded edges pierced by a large hole. The inside edge of the hole has two sharp points that rise from opposite sides and narrow to almost meet in the center of the hole, creating a sense of energy and dynamic tension. These points divide the hole into two areas, a smaller area above and a larger area below, as shown in Figure 8, and the shape of the void is sometimes interpreted as resembling a humanoid with a head and torso.

Henry Moore sculptures for sale (9) Henry Moore sculptures for sale


The origins of sculpture can be traced in Moore’s work to sculptures made in 1939-40, Three Points and some drawings from 1940. Moore was often inspired by found natural objects, such as stones with holes. The piece may have drawn inspiration from the elephant skulls that Sir Julian Huxley collected in East Africa and displayed in his gardens and later gave to Moore as a gift. The dotted oval is also related to Moore’s other sculptures, including his spindle piece and two dots: the skeleton, both of which have two dots facing outward rather than inward. Moore himself later mentioned the connection to the spark plug in his mind.

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More Henry Moore Sculptures:

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