Monday, February 20, 2012

Moore or Less

The work of Henry Moore (1898 - 1986) is one of those things which appears familiar but strangely removed from our collective memories. With a proliferation of public art in our day-to-day lives it's quite rare to see forms which evoke such reflective responses to seemingly simple shapes. His work in bronze has been called  Modernist by many people but I view it as a fantastic combination of ancient cultural influences. After a recent trip to the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City (a migraine inducing overload of inspiration!) I can see glimpses of pre-Columbian figures in his pieces. He also drew on Classical and African references and there are shades of Modigliani with his exaggeration of anatomical features. 

Moore used bronze as his medium from the 1940's and found it a more expressive and probably more malleable material to work with. For me the subtle interplay between organic forms and the green oxidation provided by verdigris on bronze gives his work a sense of timelessness. It's almost as if he made the pieces to look as if they have been abraded by history and the elements of nature. Whatever his inspiration was I certainly think we're the richer for his talent. 

Mix of African and Surrealist possibly?

The reclining woman was a common theme in Moore's work

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