Henry Moore

Sculpting the 20th Century

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern
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Above: A Henry Moore sculpture in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, England.

Info provided by theartstory.org

There are few artists that epitomize post war Modernism like Henry Moore. Born the son of a coal miner in Castleford, Yorkshire in 1898 Moore was the most important British sculptor of the 20th century, and the most popular and internationally celebrated sculptor of the post-war period. Non-Western art was crucial in shaping his early work – he would say that his visits to the ethnographic collections of the British Museum were more important than his academic study. Later, leading European Modernists such as Picasso, Arp, Brancusi and Giacometti became influences. And uniting these inspirations was a deeply felt humanism.

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Old Flo’ Moore’s ‘Draped Seated Woman’ in the burough of Tower Hamlets in England. The local council had tried to sell it at auction to help alleviate a budget crisis but because of local outcry the council wisely decided not to sell. Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern

Henry Moore with the ‘Elmwood Upright’ Internal/Eternal form in progress, 1953 Photo: Hulton Deutsch

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern

Henry Moore’s ‘Elmwood Upright’ (1953) at Kew Gardens, London. Photo: johnchiappone.com

He returned again and again to the motifs of the mother and child, and the reclining figure, and often used abstract form to draw analogies between the human body and the landscape. Although sculpture remained his principal medium, he was also a fine draughtsman, and his images of figures sheltering on the platforms of subway stations in London during the bombing raids of World War II remain much loved.

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern

Henry Moore at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1974. Photo: thestar.ca

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern

Housing the world’s largest Henry Moore collection the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Photo: AGO

His interest in the landscape, and in nature, has encouraged the perception that he has deep roots in traditions of British art, yet his softly optimistic, redemptive view of humanity also brought him an international audience. Today, few major cities are without one of his reclining figures, reminders that the humanity can rebound from any disaster. Henry Moore passed away on August 31, 1986 at the age of 88 leaving a legacy that’s as prolific as it is brilliant.

Some of Henry Moore's works. Click on image for full view

modernism constructivism henry moore sculpture artist mid century modern

Henry Moore in his workshop. Photo: Allan Warren

 

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Wayne
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Love his work spent many a day just walking around Wakefield Yorkshire park