Not on display
- Henry Moore OM, CH 1898–1986
- Object: 2349 × 3721 × 1651 mm
- Presented by the artist 1978
Henry Moore’s two-part sculpture Working Model for Reclining Figure (Lincoln Center) 1963–5 comprises two separate bronze elements that together may be understood to represent a reclining human figure. The sculpture was the working model for a much larger work commissioned for the Lincoln Center in New York City. The larger sculpture was designed to be placed in a large ornamental pool of water in front of the building, where it was installed in 1965. Tate’s working model for this sculpture is currently on long-term loan to the Charing Cross Hospital in London, where it is also installed outdoors in a pool (fig.1).
The pose of a reclining figure – created by an upright torso and horizontally-arranged legs – was a motif that preoccupied Moore for much of his career. Works such as Recumbent Figure 1938 (Tate N05387) and Draped Reclining Woman 1957–8 (Tate T06825) are earlier examples of Moore’s engagement with the subject, which from 1959 went in a new direction when Moore began to systematically segment his reclining figures into two and three pieces, as can be seen in Two Piece Reclining Figure No.2 1960 (Tate T00395) (fig.2). In 1961 Moore explained:
In doing these Reclining Figure sculptures (No.1 in 1959 and No.2 in 1960), it came naturally and without any conscious decision, that I made them in two separate pieces, the head-and-body end and the leg-end. In both sculptures I realised that I was simplifying the essential elements of my reclining figure theme ... In many of my reclining figures the head-and-neck part of the sculpture, sometimes the torso part too, is upright, giving contrast to the horizontal direction of the whole sculpture.1
The Lincoln Center commission
From studio to foundry
Sources and development
‘A supreme symbol of our human destiny’
The Henry Moore Gift
Henry Moore, ‘Two-Piece Reclining Figures 1959 and 1960’, artist’s statement sent to Martin Butlin, 13 April 1961, Tate Artist Catalogue File, Henry Moore, A23945, reprinted in Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, Tate Gallery Catalogues: The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, vol.2, p.28.
Iain A. Boal, ‘Ground Zero: Henry Moore’s Atom Piece at the University of Chicago’, in Jane Beckett and Fiona Russell (eds.), Henry Moore: Critical Essays, Aldershot 2003, p.224.
Henry Moore cited in Albert Elsen, ‘Henry Moore’s Reflections on Sculpture’, Art Journal, vol.26, no.4, summer 1967, pp.352–8.
In 1934 Moore stated that ‘The observation of nature is part of an artist’s life, it enlarges his form-knowledge’. See Henry Moore, ‘Statement for Unit One’, in Herbert Read (ed.), Unit One: The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture, London 1934, pp.29–30, reprinted in Alan Wilkinson (ed.), Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, London 2002, p.192.
Henry Moore in ‘Henry Moore Talking to David Sylvester’, 7 June 1963, transcript of Third Programme, BBC Radio, broadcast 14 July 1963, p.18, Tate Archive TGA 200816. (An edited version of this interview was published in the Listener, 29 August 1963, pp.305–7.)
Henry Moore cited in Gemma Levine, With Henry Moore: The Artist at Work, London 1978, p.57.
Donald Hall, Henry Moore: The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor, London 1966, p.164.
Alan Bowness (ed.), Henry Moore. Volume 4: Complete Sculpture 1964–73, London 1977, p.39.
See Anne Wagner, ‘Scale in Sculpture: The Sixties and Henry Moore’, Tate Papers, no.15, spring 2011, http://www
.tate, accessed 13 August 2013. .org .uk /research /publications /tate -papers /scale -sculpture -sixties -and -henry -moore
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore, London 1968, p.300.
Henry Moore cited in John Hedgecoe (ed.), Henry Moore: My Ideas, Inspiration and Life as an Artist, London 1986, p.159.
Roger Berthoud, The Life of Henry Moore, 1987, 2nd edn, London 2003, p.344.
Hall 1966, p.164.
See Berthoud 2003, pp.323–4.
Henry Moore, letter to Heinz Ohff, 8 March 1967, Henry Moore Foundation Archive.
Moore cited in Sylvester 1963, pp.3–4.
Hall 1966, p.171.
See Bowness 1977, p.9.
Moore 1961, reprinted in Chamot, Farr and Butlin 1964, p.28.
David Thompson, ‘Recumbent Figure by Henry Moore’, Listener, 25 November 1965, p.861.
John Russell, Henry Moore, London 1968, p.193. It is known that Moore saw the Seurat painting regularly during his visits to Clark’s home. See Philip James (ed.), Henry Moore on Sculpture, London 1966, p.269.
Other writers, including Herbert Read, Robert Melville, and Alan Wilkinson, have also compared Moore’s work to the depiction of cliffs in paintings by Claude Monet and Georges Seurat. See Herbert Read, Henry Moore: A Study of his Life and Work, London 1965, p.227; Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921–1969, London 1970, p.29; Alan G. Wilkinson, Henry Moore Remembered: The Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Toronto 1987, p.193.
Moore cited in Elsen 1967, pp.352–8.
Read 1965, p.250.
See Elsen 1967 and Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, London 1959.
Herbert Read, The Philosophy of Modern Art, New York 1953, p.204.
Moore 1934, cited in Read 1953, p.207.
Elsen 1967, p.355.
Christa Lichtenstern, Henry Moore: Work-Theory-Impact, London 2008, p.241.
See ‘Note on the Henry Moore Gift’, 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.
These figures are based on those listed in a memo in the exhibition’s records; see Tate Public Records TG 92/344/2.
Norman Reid, letter to Mary Danowski, 31 August 1978, Tate Public Records TG 4/6/10/4.