Henry Moore OM, CH

Upright Internal/External Form

1952–3

Medium
Plaster
Dimensions
Object: 1956 x 679 x 692 mm, 295 kg
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the artist 1978
Reference
T02272

Display caption

This sculpture reflects the interplay between abstract and figurative forms in Moore’s work. ‘I have done other sculptures based on this idea of one form being protected by another’ Moore recalled. ‘I suppose in my mind was also the Mother and Child idea and of birth and the child in embryo. All these things are connected in this interior and exterior idea.’ Later versions of the sculpture were made in bronze and elm wood, and a twenty foot high cast is sited in the atrium of Three First National Plaza in Chicago.

Gallery label, July 2013

Catalogue entry

Entry

Upright Internal/External Form 1952–3 is a plaster sculpture comprising a vertically-orientated, rounded shell inside which an upright form is nestled. It is one of Henry Moore’s most well known sculptures and was cast in a bronze edition in c.1958.
The exterior element takes the form of an upright hollow shaft that extends from a hemispherical base to a rounded apex at the top (fig.1). While the rear is almost flat, the surface of the sides undulate and swell in places giving it an organic quality. The front, however, is marked by two large, curvaceous holes through which the interior of the form can be seen. These openings are separated by a single horizontal arch or bridge that spans the front of the sculpture approximately two thirds of the way up. Seen from the side it is evident that this bridge projects forward and overhangs the base.
Henry Moore 'Upright Internal/External Form' 1952–3
Fig.1
Henry Moore
Upright Internal/External Form 1952–3
Tate T02272
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Henry Moore 'Upright Internal/External Form' 1952–3
Fig.2
Henry Moore
Upright Internal/External Form 1952–3
Tate T02272
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Henry Moore 'Large Interior Form' 1953–4
Fig.3
Henry Moore
Large Interior Form 1953–4
Kansas City Sculpture Park
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Inside this tubular casing and visible through the two openings is a thin, vertically-oriented form that is wholly contained by the walls of the exterior piece (fig.2). This internal element is made up of two rounded, roughly elliptical forms joined by a thin, cylindrical shaft which appears to twist slightly so that the rounded forms face at different angles. A wedge shape with a single hole driven through it protrudes from the top of the upper elliptical form. Its lower half curves to follow the contours of the right-hand inner wall of the sculpture, whereas its upper half bends to the curve of the left-hand edge. The way it curves to the shape of the interior wall is suggestive of a life form occupying a cocoon, with the dimensions of the inner and outer forms complementing each other in what might appear a symbiotic or organic relationship. In 1953–4 Moore created a bronze version of the internal form as a unique standing sculpture (fig.3).

Clay, plaster, elm and bronze

Themes and origins

Interpreting archetypes

Critical reception

The Henry Moore Gift

Alice Correia
January 2014

Notes

1
Henry Moore, letter to Gordon Smith, 31 October 1955, reprinted in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, Aldershot 2002, p.277.
2
Kenneth Clark, Henry Moore Drawings, London 1974, p.114.
3
See, for example, Family Group 1949, cast 1950–1 (Tate N06004), which was developed from the maquette to full size without a working model.
4
David Mitchinson (ed.), Moore and Mythology, exhibition catalogue, Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green 2007, p.11.
5
Henry Moore cited in Gemma Levine, With Henry Moore: The Artist at Work, London 1978, p.124.
6
David Sylvester, ‘Henry Moore’s Recent Sculpture’, Listener, 3 November 1955, p.754.
7
Ibid., p.754.
8
Julie Summers, ‘Fragment of Maquette for King and Queen’, in Claude Allemand-Cosneau, Manfred Fath and David Mitchinson (eds.), Henry Moore. From the Inside Out: Plasters, Carvings and Drawings, Munich 1996, p.126.
9
Henry Moore cited in Donald Hall, ‘Henry Moore: An Interview by Donald Hall’, Horizon, November 1960, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.226.
10
Moore, letter to Gordon Smith, 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.277.
11
Herbert Read, Henry Moore: A Study of his Life and Work, London 1965, p.182.
12
Ibid., pp.182, 185.
13
Moore, letter to Gordon Smith, 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.277.
14
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.198.
15
Margaret McLeod, letter to Richard Calvocoressi, 18 August 1980, Tate Artist Catalogue File, Henry Moore, A23946
16
Mark Stocker, ‘The Best Thing Ever Seen in New Zealand: The Henry Moore Exhibition of 1956–57’, Sculpture Journal, vol.16, no.1, 2007, p.89, note 35.
17
Henry Moore cited in Henry J. Seldis, Henry Moore in America, New York 1973, p.222.
18
Ibid., pp.222–3.
19
Alan G. Wilkinson, Henry Moore Remembered: The Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Toronto 1987, p.18.
20
Anita Feldman, ‘Moore: The Plasters’, in Anita Feldman and Malcolm Woodward, Henry Moore: Plasters, London 2011, pp.12, 19.
21
Moore, letter to Gordon Smith, 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.277.
22
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.198.
23
David Sylvester, Henry Moore, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1968, p.85.
24
Henry Moore in conversation with David Mitchinson, 1980, extract of transcript reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.213.
25
Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, London 1959, p.100.
26
Clark 1974, p.114.
27
Ibid.
28
Ibid.
29
Neumann 1959, pp.127–8, cited in Read 1965, pp.185–6 and John Russell, Henry Moore, New York 1968, p.121.
30
Read 1965, p.185.
31
Neumann 1959, pp.41–2.
32
For a discussion of Moore and humanism see James Hyman, The Battle for Realism: Figurative Art in Britain during the Cold War 1945–1960, New Haven and London 2001, pp.90–5.
33
Philip Hendy, ‘Henry Moore: His New Exhibition’, Britain Today, no.158, June 1949, p.36.
34
Christa Lichtenstern, Henry Moore: Work-Theory-Impact, London 2008, p.241.
35
Clark 1974, pp.114, 119.
36
In his introduction to the book Moore concluded that ‘It has been a wonderful experience for me to recapture the delight, the excitement, the inspiration I got in these pieces as a young and developing sculptor’. Henry Moore, Henry Moore at the British Museum, London 1981, p.16.
37
Moore 1981, p.81.
38
Christopher Green, ‘Expanding the Canon: Roger Fry’s Evaluations of the “Civilized” and the “Savage”’, in Christopher Green (ed.), Art Made Modern: Roger Fry's Vision of Art, exhibition catalogue, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London 1999, p.126.
39
Henry Moore cited in James Johnson Sweeny, ‘Henry Moore’, Partisan Review, March–April 1947, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.44.
40
Henry Moore, ‘Primitive Art’, Listener, 24 April 1941, pp.598–9, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.105.
41
Alan Wilkinson, ‘Henry Moore’ in William Rubin (ed.), Primitivism in Twentieth Century Art, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1984, vol.2, p.605.
42
Ibid.
43
Alan Wilkinson, ‘Moore: A Modernist Primitive’, in Dorothy Kosinski (ed.), Henry Moore: Sculpting the 20th Century, exhibition catalogue, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas 2001, p.38.
44
Ann Garrould (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 2: Complete Drawings 1930–39, London 1998, p.140.
45
David Sylvester, ‘Henry Moore’s Sculpture’, Britain Today, no.215, March 1954, p.34.
46
Sylvester 1955, p.754.
47
Ibid.
48
Ibid.
49
Alan Bowness, ‘Henry Moore’, Arts News and Review, vol.7, no.21, 12 November 1955, p.5.
50
Anon., ‘Mr Moore’s New Sculpture: A Transitional Phase’, Times, 1 November 1955, p.3.
51
Moore, letter to Gordon Smith, 1955, reprinted in Wilkinson 2002, p.277.
52
Ibid., p.278.
53
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.381.
54
Keith Sutton, ‘Henry Moore at Whitechapel’, Listener, 8 December 1960, p.1070.
55
Our Art Critic [David Thompson], ‘Mr Henry Moore’s Exhilarating Exhibition’, Times, 28 November 1960, p.6.
56
Bryan Robertson, ‘Barbara Hepworth’, Modern Painters, vol.7, 1 September 1994, p.53.
57
See ‘Note on the Henry Moore Gift’, 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.
58
These figures are based on those listed in a memo in the records for the exhibition. See Tate Public Records TG 92/344/2.
59
Norman Reid, letter to Mary Danowski, 31 August 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.
60
Andrew Gagarin was identified as the owner of one of the bronze casts in Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 2: Sculpture and Drawings 1949–1955, 1955, 2nd edn, London 1965, p.xxvi. See also ‘Henry Moore, Internal and External Forms, 1958, Lot 66’, Impressionist & Modern Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture. Part 1: Sale 8410, sales catalogue, 30 April 1996, Christie’s, New York 1996, http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/LotDetailsPrintable.aspx?intObjectID=1073086, accessed 7 January 2014.

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