Henry Moore

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  • Topic: Henry Moore, Sculpture, Venice Biennale
  • Pages : 3 (1095 words )
  • Download(s) : 146
  • Published : March 22, 2011
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The aftermath of World War II, The Holocaust, and the age of the atomic bomb instilled in the sculpture of the mid-1940s a sense that art should return to its pre-cultural and pre-rational origins. In the literature of the day, writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre advocated a similar reductive philosophy.[36] At an introductory speech in New York City for an exhibition of one of the finest modernist sculptors, Alberto Giacometti, Sartre spoke of "The beginning and the end of history".[37] Moore's sense of England emerging undefeated from siege led to his focus on pieces characterised by endurance and continuity.[36] Moore's signature form is a reclining figure. Moore's exploration of this form, under the influence of the Toltec-Mayan figure he had seen at the Louvre, was to lead him to increasing abstraction as he turned his thoughts towards experimentation with the elements of design. Moore's earlier reclining figures deal principally with mass, while his later ones contrast the solid elements of the sculpture with the space, not only round them but generally through them as he pierced the forms with openings. Earlier figures are pierced in a conventional manner, in which bent limbs separate from and rejoin the body. The later, more abstract figures are often penetrated by spaces directly through the body, by which means Moore explores and alternates concave and convex shapes. These more extreme piercings developed in parallel with Barbara Hepworth's sculptures.[38] Hepworth first pierced a torso after misreading a review of one of Henry Moore's early shows. The painted plaster Reclining Figure (1951) outside the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, is characteristic of Moore's later sculptures: an abstract female figure intercut with voids. There are several bronze versions of this sculpture. When Moore's niece asked why his sculptures had such simple titles, he replied, All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or...
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