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HOME > the artworks > henry moore
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Sample Artworks from our inventory (Click to Enlarge)

Six heads Olympian, 1982
Colour lithograph
  Cyclops, 1973
Lithograph in 2 colours
  Sculptural Objects, 1949
Colour lithograph on English Cartridge

British sculptor. Moore studied at Leeds College of Art (1919-21) and at the Royal College of Art, London (1921-5), where he was a fellow-student of Barbara Hepworth. The 1st major contemporary British sculptor of international standing, Moore exerted a considerable influence on succeeding generations, although this was to some extent superseded by the rise of British Constructivism in the 1950s. 3 main influences dominated his work from the beginning: first primitive and archaic arts (encouraged by reading Roger Fry's Vision and Design, and by the precedent of Epstein, who admired and encouraged his early work); secondly the contemporary work of Brancusi and Picasso (Moore made several visits to Paris from 1923); and thirdly his visit to Italy (1925) on a scholarship, where he discovered Giotto and Masaccio but was little interested in the 'perfection' of Renaissance art.
In 1928 Moore had his 1st one-man exhibition and his 1st public commission -- the North Wind relief on the London Transport Executive Building, St James's. Around 1927-9 he made his first reclining figure, the theme which was to be central to his whole oeuvre. In treating the figure he was never concerned with its superficial appearance, but with creating an elemental living image. The hollows in Reclining Figure (1930), for example, reveal space contained within a volume and are at the same time womb-like fertility symbols. There are also subconscious analogies to landscape -- hillsides, caverns, etc. -- in many of his figures. Brancusi, he said, made him 'shape-conscious', but Moore's shapes at their most abstract retain a vital sense of organic growth, often in an ambiguous part-animal, part-vegetable metamorphosis. All of his prewar work was characterized by his truth to the nature of his materials (carving allowed him this closeness of contact), full 3-dimensionality and an unidealized urgent sense of energy and vitality. In 1933 Moore was a founder-member of Unit One with Nash, Hepworth and Nicholson. His work in the 1930s ranged from strange Surrealist metamorphoses influenced by Tanguy and Picasso, to his most abstract works -- the String Figures of 1937-40, inspired by Gabo and Nicholson; the Helmet Head (1939-40) was the 1st of his ideas on a theme of forms-within-forms. The Shelter drawings of the London Underground which he made as a war artist (1940-3) pursue this interest with the small figures enclosed within the throat of the tunnel. There is also an expressive element of pathos in these wartime drawings, which in general abandon Surrealism for a naturalism full of feeling for humanity. Since the war he continued to work on the reclining figure theme -- the figure often divided into 2 or 3 monumental pieces. The general development of his post-war sculpture, much of it in bronze, was towards an overpowering dominance of mood and a massive sense of scale. The domesticity of his Madonna and Child (1943-4) gave way to the primeval cult character of the King and Queen (1952-3) and the early Surrealist organisms to the pantheistic, totem-like Glenkiln Cross (1955-6).