- Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
- Object: 578 × 441 × 254 mm, 39 kg
- Presented by the artist 1978
Moon Head 1964 is a bronze sculpture comprised of two thin, irregularly shaped disc-like forms that each stem from an elliptical tubular neck mounted on a bronze base. The two sections of the sculpture are similarly sized and positioned in parallel with each other a few centimetres apart, although they are not aligned directly so that a part of one can always be seen behind the other (fig.1). Seen from each end, it is possible to look through the narrow canyon-like passage between the two pieces (fig.2). From these side views it is evident that each disc has gently undulating surfaces and that each one thins as it tapers towards its upper edge. The way in which the two discs appear to gravitate towards and away from each other at various points gives the impression that the sculpture had, at one time, been a single unit that has been peeled apart.
The outer edges of the sculpture are thin, akin to a knife-edge, and feature irregularly shaped gouges that extend towards the centre of each disc. One disc has a large round shape cut from its upper edge (fig.3), while the other disc has an elongated U-shaped notch cut into its lower right edge (fig.4). Although the sculpture was designed to be seen in the round, and has no obvious front or back, Moore did indicate in 1968 that he regarded the disc with the larger incision at its top as ‘the back’.1
From plaster to bronze
Affinities and influences
The Henry Moore Gift
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.466.
Henry Moore, letter to Heinz Ohff, 8 March 1967, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
Richard Wentworth, ‘The Going Concern: Working For Moore’, Burlington Magazine, vol.130, no.1029, December 1988, p.927.
Moore cited in Hedgecoe 1968, p.466.
Shortly after Tate had taken receipt of the works that made up the Henry Moore Gift, a number of the sculptures were returned to the artist so that he could adjust the patina, but Moon Head was not one of these.
David Sylvester, Henry Moore, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery,London 1968, p.119.
Henry Moore, letter to Dennis Farr, 15 October 1963, Tate Artist Catalogue File, Henry Moore, A23945.
Henry Moore cited in Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, London 1966, p.278.
Sylvester 1968, p.119.
Alan Wilkinson, ‘Moon Head’, in David Mitchinson (ed.), Celebrating Moore: Works from the Collection of the Henry Moore Foundation, London 2006, p.279.
Henry Moore, letter to Lord Eccles, June 1969, reprinted in Henry Moore at the British Museum, London 1981, p.13.
Henry Moore cited in James Johnson Sweeney, ‘Henry Moore’, Partisan Review, March–April 1947, reprinted in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations,Aldershot 2002, pp.44–5.
Henry Moore, letter to Lord Eccles, June 1969, reprinted in Moore 1981, p.13.
[Denys Sutton], ‘A Question of Standards’, Apollo, vol.90, no.92, October 1969, p.281.
Alan Wilkinson, ‘Henry Moore’, in William Rubin (ed.), Primitivism in Twentieth Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, vol.2, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1984, p.609.
Wilkinson 2006, p.279.
See ‘Note on the Henry Moore Gift’, 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.
Norman Reid, letter to Mary Danowski, 31 August 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.