Catalogue entry

T02290 LARGE SLOW FORM: TORTOISE 1968

Inscribed ‘Moore 0/9’ on foot
Bronze, 16 1/2 × 30 1/4 × 16 5/8 (42 × 76.6 × 42.3)
Presented by the artist 1978
Exh: Henry Moore, University of York Visual Arts Society, Heslington Hall, March 1969 (32); Henry Moore Drawings and Sculpture, Arts Council, Supplementary Works lent by Henry Moore, Gordon Maynard Gallery, Welwyn Garden City, July 1969 (HM6); Henry Moore Bronzes 1961–1970, Marlborough Gallery, New York, April–May 1970 (5, repr. in colour); Henry Moore, Musée Rodin, Paris, 1971 (42, repr.); Henry Moore 1961–1971, Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich, October–November 1971 (3, repr.); Henry Moore: Sculpture, Drawings, Graphics, Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, Lancs., November–December 1971 (30, repr.); Henry Moore, Playhouse Gallery, Harlow, March–April 1972 (6); Mostra di Henry Moore, Forte di Belvedere, Florence, May–September 1972 (122, repr.); The Henry Moore Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1978, repr.p.49
Lit: John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore, 1968, p.365 (repr.); Alan G. Wilkinson, The Moore Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1979, p.179
Repr: Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpture 1964–73, 1977, no. 502a (addendum to catalogue 1955–64)

This work is L.H. 502a. There are ten bronzes in all, including the Tate's cast which was the artist's own. The 7 1/2 inch long plaster maquette (L.H. 502), in the Moore Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, was made in 1962. It was not enlarged to its present size until 1968.

Moore wrote about the idea behind the work as follows: ‘It is one right-angled form, repeated five times, and arranged together to make an organic composition. This repeated slow right-angle reminded me of the action of a tortoise.’ (Hedgecoe, op. cit.) He also thought he would ‘pursue the idea of using a repetitive unit in some future works.’ (ibid.) See, for example T02293 and T02303.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981