Henry Moore OM, CH

Four-Piece Composition: Reclining Figure

1934

Medium
Cumberland alabaster
Dimensions
Object: 175 x 457 x 203 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund 1976
Reference
T02054

Display caption

This work is carved in alabaster, dug from fields in Cumbria. The bone or stone-like shapes reflect Moore’s interest in organic and inorganic forms, while the incised lines echo both prehistoric stone carving and the work of Pablo Picasso. The individual pieces appear abstract, but also evoke a reclining female body, as Moore explained:

I realised what an advantage a separated... composition could have in relating figures to landscape. Knees and breasts are mountains. Once these... parts become separated you don’t expect it to be a naturalistic figure: therefore you can justifiably make it like a landscape or not.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Tate Etc.

His darkened imagination

His darkened imagination: Andrew Causey on Henry Moore, Tate Etc. issue 18 Spring 2010