Maquette for two piece Reclining Figure: Points
Stamped Noack Berlin and numbered 6/9
Bronze with a light brown, golden patina
Height: 3 1/4" (8.4 cm)
Conceived in 1969. This example cast in the artist's lifetime
Edition 6 of 9
Maquette for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points is indicative of a feature that is often marked as essential in Henry Moore’s philosophy – the link between the human body and landscape. This abstraction of the figure represents a fundamental part of Moore’s overall approach to sculpture.
Throughout his career, Moore focused on the subjects of the mother and child, the reclining figure, the standing figure, and the head. 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 used them in his work encouraged the viewer to look upon the natural world as one endlessly varied sculpture, created continually by natural processes. By simultaneously using both the natural world and the human body in his work, Moore created a picture of humanity as a powerful natural force.
Maquette for Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points is the small scale model for Moore’s monumental Two-Piece Reclining Figure: Points, which can be seen in Kew Gardens, London (the artist’s copy, loaned by the Henry Moore Foundation), other versions in the full scale size are in The Hofgarten, Düsseldorf, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. The plaster model is in The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
‘The Two-Piece Reclining Figures must have been working around in the back of my mind for years, really. As long ago as 1934 I had done a number of smaller pieces composed of separate forms, two- and three-piece carvings in ironstone, ebony, alabaster and other materials. They were all more abstract than these. I don’t think it was a conscious or intentional thing for me to break up the figures in this way, but I suppose those earlier works from the thirties had something to do with it. I didn’t do any preliminary drawings for these. I wish now I had ... I did the first one in two pieces almost without intending to. But after I’d done it, then the second one became a conscious idea. I realised what an advantage a separated two-piece composition could have in relating figures to landscape. Knees and breasts are mountains. Once these two parts become separated you don’t expect it to be a naturalistic figure; therefore, you can justifiably make it like a landscape or a rock. If it is a single figure, you can guess what it’s going to be like. If it is in two pieces, there’s a bigger surprise, you have more unexpected views; therefore the special advantage over painting – of having the possibility of many different views – is more fully exploited.’ — Henry Moore, 1962
Henry Moore, Two-Piece Reclining Figure: Points, 1969, Hofgarten, Düsseldorf