Henry Moore: room guide, room 4

Henry Moore OM, CH, ‘Recumbent Figure’ 1938
Henry Moore OM, CH
Recumbent Figure 1938
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© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Room 4: Modernism

Drawing formed an important part of Moore’s practice. It gave him a rapid means of generating and developing multiple ideas for sculpture, itself of necessity a slow form of expression. As the 1930s progressed Moore produced a number of drawings that envisaged his sculpture in landscape settings. His Recumbent Figure 1938 is one such sculpture in Hornton stone that Moore realised, siting it out of doors in the countryside. Other drawings depict Moore’s ‘stringed’ sculptures of the period, confined within ambiguous, prison-like spaces pervaded by a sense of the Uncanny. The tautness of the rows of wire and string that stretch across the sculptures – some of which are on display in this room – add a metaphorical dimension to work produced during a time of political unease. The Helmet, one of the last sculptures Moore completed before the onset of the Second World War, encapsulates this sense of anxiety.

Henry Moore OM, CH, ‘Reclining Figure’ 1939
Henry Moore OM, CH
Reclining Figure 1939
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© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Henry Moore The Helmet, 1939–40

Henry Moore The Helmet 1939–40

The Henry Moore Foundation © Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation