• Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Man and Woman II - Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
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Man and Woman II

Henry Moore

(English, 1898-1986)

Signed Moore
Numbered 3/9
Bronze with a dark, black patina
Height: 9" (22.8 cm)

Conceived and cast in 1978
Edition of 9 plus 1

Henry Moore was one of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors. After the Second World War, he became Britain’s best-known artist, both at home and abroad. He was influenced by European Modernism and developed an abstract sculptural language focused on subjects such as the mother and child, the family group, the reclining figure, the standing figure and the head.

The family group is perhaps one of Moore’s most renowned types – and a form that was central to his growth in fame in the 1940’s. Works such as Three Standing Figures 1947, a monumental stone piece made for the Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition at Battersea Park in 1948 (below), can be seen as a direct precursor to Man and Woman II.

Just as the human body inspired Moore’s forms, so did the natural world. He often derived ideas from objects such as pebbles, shells and bones, and the way he evoked them in his sculpture encouraged the viewer to look upon the natural world as an ever-changing sculpture, created continually by natural processes. Moore’s studio was crammed with what he called ‘library of natural forms’ which he used as direct influences for his sculptures. As the artist himself explained in 1963 to critic David Sylvester:I look at them, handle them, see them from all round, and I may press then into clay and pour plaster into that clay and get a start as a bit of plaster, which is a reproduction of the object. And then add to it, change it. In that sort of way something turns out in the end that you could never have thought of the day before.

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, culminating his ‘Upright Motives’ and later in his Stonehenge lithographs of 1972–3 (below).Upright Motive No.1: Glenkiln Cross (below) is one of a series of standing sculptures made by Moore between 1955 and 1956. This is key to his oeuvre and there is a clear link between it and the artist’s late standing figures, such as Man and Woman II.

In essence, Man and Woman II can be seen a direct synthesis of the two founding concepts of Moore’s oeuvre discussed above; conjuring images of both the natural world and the human body simultaneously, the artist created an image of humanity as a powerful natural force.

Three Standing Figures 1947, Battersea Park

Stonehenge lithograph of 1972–3

Upright Motive No.1: Glenkiln Cross

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