Catalogue entry

T02280 WOMAN 1957–8

Inscribed ‘Moore %’ on base and stamped with foundry mark ‘GUSS: H. NOACK BERLIN’ on side of base
Bronze, 56 3/4 × 31 1/8 × 36 1/4 including base (144 × 79.1 × 92.1)
Presented by the artist 1978
Exh: Henry Moore, British Council, Salla Dalles, Bucarest, February–March 1966 and tour to Bratislava, Prague and Jerusalem, ending up at the Tel-Aviv Museum, November–December 1966 (23, repr.); Henry Moore, Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, July–September 1967 (3); Henry Moore, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, May–July 1968, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, September–November 1968 and Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Spring 1969 (95, repr.); Henry Moore 80th Birthday Exhibition, Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, April–June 1978 (5, repr.); The Henry Moore Gift, Tate Gallery, June–August 1978, repr. p.38
Lit: Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, 1960, pp.230–1 (repr. pl.181, 182); David Sylvester in catalogue of Henry Moore, Tate Gallery, 1968, p.127 (detail repr. pl.121); John Hedgecoe and Henry Moore, Henry Moore, 1968, p.326 (repr. pp.322–4); Alan Bowness, Introduction to Henry Moore Sculpture 1964–73, 1977, p.8); Alan G. Wilkinson, The Moore Collection in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1979, p.158 (original plaster repr. pl.131; another cast repr. pl.132)
Repr: Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpture 1955–1964, 1965, pl.52–5; Herbert Read, Henry Moore, 1965, pl.204 in colour

L.H. 439, also known as ‘Seated Torso’ or ‘Parze’. There is an edition of eight bronzes, one of which is in the Moore Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, together with the original plaster. The Tate's cast was the artist's own, making nine in all. Wilkinson, in the catalogue of the Toronto collection, op. cit., calls the sculpture ‘one of the most potent images of fertility produced in the 20th century’ and relates it to Moore's early interest in Palaeolithic sculpture - an influence the artist acknowledges in Hedgecoe (p.326). Moore also wrote in Hedgecoe: ‘“Woman” has that startling fullness of the stomach and the breasts. The smallness of the head is necessary to emphasise the massiveness of the body. If the head had been any larger it would have ruined the whole idea of the sculpture. Instead the face and particularly the neck are more like a hard column than a soft goitred female neck.’ (ibid.). Alan Bowness sees the base or pedestal upon which ‘Woman’ is placed as a device to distance and isolate the figure. (This would apply equally to the previous sculpture, T02279, which is seated on a bench.) He also finds the seated woman sculptures of this period ‘at times ... close to being drained of humanity ... almost too impersonal and withdrawn.’ (op. cit., 1977, p.8)

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