Vitality: The Human Landscapes of Henry Moore
Studios & Gardens, Hertfordshire
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For Moore, nature and the human body were sources of vitality, expressions of life-force which he could harness in his work, uniting and concentrating their vital energy.
Although his forms often appear abstract, Moore was fundamentally a figurative artist, and the human body remained his core concern throughout his life. In his maquette studio, he surrounded himself with natural forms – bones, stones, shells and driftwood – which he transformed into figures through the addition of clay, plasticine and plaster. When he enlarged these works and placed them outside, the rise and fall of the body – knees, breasts, and shoulders – echoed the forms of the land.
Moore enhanced the relationship of his works to their environment by incorporating space within them. He broke the figure into multiple parts and pierced his sculptures to create holes, making space a part of the sculpture and bringing the landscape into the very form of the work.
In 2023, more than twenty monumental bronzes inspired by natural and human forms are displayed in the landscape surrounding the studios where Moore developed ideas. Multi-part reclining figures are joined by some of his purest organic abstractions and works exploring his most iconic themes: the mother and child, the reclining figure, and the juxtaposition of internal and external forms.
Events at Studios & Gardens
This summer we are celebrating the theme of Vitality: The Human Landscapes of Henry Moore with a series of practitioner-led activities designed for different ages, abilities and interests. Join us to participate in workshopping, walking, talking, digital interactions and drop-in events.
Early career research symposium
Modern Sculpture, Essence, and Difference: Reflections on the Work of Constantin Brâncuşi
Ariane Coulondre and Matthew Gale
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Brâncuşi, Britain and the Idea of Modern Sculpture