Henry Moore (1898-1986) was one of the 20th century's great sculptors and after the Second World War became Britain's best known artist, both at home and abroad. Bowman Sculpture is proud to present a select group of important bronze maquettes this Frieze season, representing the full span of the great master's career.
Moore's first major public commission, his Horton stone Madonna and Child, 1943, at St Matthew's Church, Northampton, is represented by a rare early cast of the artist's terracotta model (see above), a quintessential image of Moore's 'Mother and Child' form, one that would place him at the forefront of European Modernism, in the post war period.
Moore's position as 'the father of' the Geometry of Fear group is represented here by his Maquette for Mother and Child. The aggressive, existentialist language of this specific work is arguably singular in its design and artistic style within Moore's production, and therefore represents an opportunity to appreciate a very different aspect of his sculpture.
In the late 1950s, Moore created his first separated two-piece compositions, relating figures to the natural landscape. Maquette for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points is an instance of the artist combining the human figure, particularly the female figure, with references to organic forms such as shells, pebbles and bones; an approach that would again become synonymous with his sculptural style.
Man and Woman II, 1978 depicts yet a further development in Moore's work - whilst harking back to his earlier imagery of the family group, he also took influence from the natural world, once again. Moore's abstracted standing figures have often been likened to Britain's and Northern Europe's Neolithic standing stones. Indeed, the sculptor visited Stonehenge in 1921, and retained an interest in these extraordinary forms throughout his career.
Finally, Moore's Reclining Figure: Hollows can be seen as a direct synthesis of two of the concepts discussed above; conjuring images of both the natural world and the human body simultaneously. The sculptor often derived ideas from nature, encouraging the viewer to look upon the natural world as one endlessly varied sculpture.
These five important sculptures are available to view at Bowman Sculpture throughout October 2017.