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Definition: Moore, Henry from Philip's Encyclopedia

English sculptor and graphic artist. Moore is one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. The characteristic features of his art are hollowed-out or pierced spaces, such as Reclining Figure (1938). Moore based most of his work on natural forms and one of his favourite themes was the mother and child. Many of his sculptures are in parks rather than galleries.


Summary Article: Moore, Henry (Spencer)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English sculptor. Considered one of the leading artists of the 20th century, he is known for his monumental semi-abstracts of the human form, such as Reclining Figure (1957–58; outside the UNESCO building in Paris). Influenced by primitive art and nature, his subjects include the nude, mother-and-child groups, the warrior, and interlocking abstract forms. Many of his post-1945 works are in bronze or marble, and are often designed to be placed in open urban or landscape settings.

The influence of pre-Colombian sculpture is reflected in his work of the 1920s, which was characterized by truth to material and the original block, as in Reclining Figure (1929; Leeds City Art Gallery). By the early 1930s most of his main themes had emerged, and the surrealists' preoccupation with organic forms in abstract works proved a strong influence, particularly that of Alberto Giacometti. Moore's hollowed biomorphic wooden shapes strung with wires, such as The Bride (1940; Museum of Modern Art, New York), show many similarities to sculpture by Hans Arp and Barbara Hepworth. Semi-abstract work suggesting human and animal forms recurs after World War II, for example in the interwoven bonelike forms of the Hill Arches and the bronze Sheep Pieces (1970s), set in fields by his studio in Perry Green, Hertfordshire.

Born in Castleford, Yorkshire, Moore studied at Leeds and the Royal College of Art (1921–24). As an official war artist during World War II, he made a series of drawings of people in London's air-raid shelters. Many of his works are now exhibited in the gardens and fields overlooking his home in Hertfordshire, looked after by the Henry Moore Foundation (set up by the artist, his wife, and daughter in 1977).

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Sculpture of the 20th Century

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