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Title

Reclining figure: Angles


Artist

Henry Spencer Moore

England

30 Jul 1898 - 31 Aug 1986


About

Henry Moore described how, as a young boy, he rubbed his mother's broad rheumatic back. This experience suggests a personal reading for the reclining woman, a form that has dominated Moore's sculpture. The maternal image - the mature woman chosen by Moore - has become an archetypal form, an earth mother to be impregnated by wind and rain. In situ, waiting and watching, she embodies instinctual alertness, the apprehension of danger. The sources are a mixture of primitive and classical forms, their reconciliation being a major theme in Moore's work. In this version of the figure, the horizontal arm balances the massive angular shoulder, and the frescoes of Giotto and Masaccio are an acknowledged source for the monumental forms and the taut drapery. As Moore once said: "If a work of sculpture has its own life and form, it will be alive and expansive, seeming larger than the stone or wood from which it is carved. It should always give the impression... of having grown organically, created by pressure from within." He described three fundamental poses: "One is standing, the other is seated and the third is lying down... of the three poses, the reclining figure gives the most freedom, compositionally and spatially. The seated figure has to have something to sit on. You can't free it from its pedestal. A reclining figure can recline on any surface. It is free and stable at the same time. It fits in with my belief that sculpture should be permanent, should last for eternity."

Art Gallery Handbook, 1994


Details


Date

1980


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

bronze, green patina


Edition

1/9


Dimensions

113.3 x 219.6 x 156.8 cm; 10.8 cm bronze base


Signature & date

Signed back left corner on top of base, "Moore...". Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 1981


Accession number

6.1981


Artist information

Henry Spencer Moore

Works in the collection

9


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 6 publications

Bibliography


Sir Alan Bowness (Editor), Henry Moore: sculpture 1921-1986, London, 1955-1988, vol 5, 675 (illus.).

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'European 20th Century Art', pg. 91-95, Sydney, 1984, 93 (colour illus.).

René Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'European', pg. 36-56, Sydney, 1988, 56.

Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 171 (colour illus.).

Renée Free, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'European Art', pg. 27-36, Sydney, 1981, 35 (colour illus.). cat.no. 4

Greame Sturgeon, Art and Australia, 'Lost and found: a decade of sculpture at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 74-79, Sydney, Spring 1984, 71.