I posted earlier this week a series of Grand Canyon images and included the one with rocks that appear like a seated figure. I remarked at the time that it reminded me of a Henry Moore sculpture.
Here is the sculpture Seated Woman prominently exhibited at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The resemblance is indeed remarkable.
I have long had an affection for Henry Moore’s works – going back to the last 15 years or so of his life (Moore was born in 1898 in Yorkshire, England, and died in 1986. In my view, Moore was one of the 20th Century’s greatest artists. He is especially known today for the many huge sculptures – works of public art – found throughout the world. In many of these works, Moore worked to achieve semi-abstract depictions of the human form, especially the female body, and often the shapes of mother and child. Although massive, most of his works includes holes and other pierced or enfolded spaces, so that the work is much greater than just the stone or bronze but is actually the totality of the space it envelops. In remarkable ways, Moore’s works manage to manipulate space beyond just the shape of the work itself.
There are dozens of good books about Henry Moore’s work and life. I believe the best is this one, Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of The Henry Moore Foundation
HenryMoore.com is owned by someone with no connection to Henry Moore. →Henry-Moore.org is the website of the Henry Moore Foundation established by the artist on his Yorkshire Farm in 1977.
Three stories or things about Henry Moore have always intrigued and amused me. One is the fact that Moore used to walk the moors on his Yorkshire farm, and while roaming he would collect little stones, pebbles, rocks, sticks and twigs whose shapes interested him. Eventually, it would take three barns to hold his collection, but often those stones and pebbles and twigs formed the germ of ideas eventually to become a work of art.
The second story is about the fact that Moore lived in London during second world war. During the German blitz, Moore would huddle with other Londoners in the cramped quarters of the London tube and other underground air raid shelters. The experience of huddling en masse with fellow Londoners, while endowed with a sense of the human spirit that was London during the blitz, also formed the basis for many of his large scale works that depicted human forms enfolding in on themselves, and groups of figures huddled together.
The third is the fact that Moore raised sheep on his Yorkshire farm, and he had a special liking for sheep. In 1972, as a gift to his daughter, Moore produced a lovely book of drawings and sketches of the sheep on his farm. I consider them among his most touching and beautiful works. That book is still in print, Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook.
A Google search for →Henry Moore images produces hundreds of images of Moore’s work. It’s difficult to visit any major museum or city today and not see Henry Moore’s works, though I think the Getty Center here in Los Angeles has some of the finest.