October 10, 2017

HENRY MOORE: MAGNIFICENT IMPACT IN CONTEMPORARY ART




HENRY MOORE: MAGNIFICENT IMPACT IN CONTEMPORARY ART




HENRY MOORE’S LEGACY 
A giant of twentieth century art, today Henry Moore is considered as the catalyst of the British sculptural renaissance that followed his rise to fame in his own lifetime. Moore came to represent the post-war optimism that was manifest in the rebuilding of Britain but this came at a price, as many became disillusioned at the sculptor’s omnipresence. Contemporary artists that followed were particularly critical of their sculptural forefather but many have since acknowledged their debt to Moore who brought British sculpture into the international spotlight. 
MOORE’S SERVICE TO THE ARTS  
At the time of his death Moore had created just over 1,000 sculptures, over 700 graphics and almost 5,500 drawings leaving an incredible wealth of material to remember him by. To a certain extent Moore secured his own legacy with great acts of generosity, particularly through gifts to public collections. In the UK alone these included 36 sculptures and a complete set of graphics to Tate; a wide array of prints and drawings to the British Museum and further works to the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Council. 
Moore was also generous with his time and resources to support the arts. He served as a Trustee of the Tate from 1941 until 1956 and of the National Gallery from 1955 until 1974. He championed free entry and early Sunday opening hours at the National Gallery and encouraged the controversial purchases of works of art accused of being expensive; paintings by Renoir and Cézanne are today considered to be crucial parts of the gallery’s collection. The impact of Moore’s patronage and work as a Trustee ensures that his legacy quietly reaches far beyond the works which bear his name. By establishing the Henry Moore Foundation before his death, Moore secured the protection of his own works which would continue to be exhibited internationally. Our grants scheme allows his legacy to be truly wide-reaching through the funding of sculpture research and exhibitions. 
MOORE & PUBLIC SCULPTURE  
After the Second World War, Britain was rebuilt with a utopic modernist vision. In 1946 the Labour government passed the New Towns Act prompting the creation of 11 new towns. As the most prominent sculptor of the day, the work of Moore was called upon to enhance these towns and other modernist sites. Stevenage was the first new town to be built, where Family Group, 1948-49 was placed at the entrance of the Barclay Secondary School, setting a precedent for art in educational institutions. The second town was Harlow where its master planner Sir Frederick Gibberd pioneered the commissioning of sculptures for its public spaces. Moore was the first chosen artist, carving a family group in Hadene stone in response to the young families who had moved there. A proliferation of international acquisitions and commissions and his humanist language of family groups and reclining figures confirmed Moore’s status as a symbol of post-war optimism.
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‘’ Sculpture is an art of the open air. Daylight, sunlight is necessary to it, and for me its best setting and complement is nature. I would rather have a piece of my sculpture put in a landscape, almost any landscape, than in, or on, the most beautiful building I  know. ‘’ 
Henry Moore in Sylvester 1951: Sculpture and Drawings by Henry Moore 
Tate 1951   
Despite architects choosing the work of Moore again and again, the artist preferred his sculptures to be seen in natural landscapes. Whether natural scenery or the built environment, Moore’s works have peppered landscapes around the world since the 1950s. He was the first to publicly declare that sculpture was best viewed in the outdoors. He sat on the committee of the first ‘ Open Air Exhibition of Sculpture ' at Battersea Park in 1948 where he showed two sculptures; then a new model, the display proved to be a catalyst for the emergence of many other open air exhibitions. Moore’s impact therefore resonates beyond his own work to the way that sculpture continues to be presented and considered as part of the landscape. 
CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS  
‘’ The landscape as subject in sculpture almost enjoyed a renaissance due to the work of Moore. The work has at times an almost geological quality. Having been hewn out and eroded, the work often emerges out of the ground or from a plinth-like device that holds different elements together, giving the appearance of rock formations. This reference gives the work an almost geological time-scale, usually unobtainable by human beings. Moore placed his work outdoors, often directly in the landscape, more than any other sculptor previously had done. As a result, the landscape, which had been neglected for many years, became the focus of attention for artists. ‘’ 
Tony Cragg, Body and Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art 
Henry Moore Foundation 2014




A teaching career spanning 1925 to the early 1950s produced a generation of artists who were directly touched by Moore’s example. Many of his assistants such as Anthony Caro and Bernard Meadows became established artists in their own right. Caro wrote “for me, working as his assistant opened up a whole new visual world. He loved to talk about art, and despite the age difference we had a good dialogue. Sculpture was his life. He was in touch with his feelings, very direct. 
Despite Moore’s direct contact with, and support of, many contemporary artists his reputation amongst the younger generation suffered. Moore was widely considered an establishment artist, probably due to the prominence of his works in institutions and public spaces over the world. However, this opinion doesn’t acknowledge the fact that Moore had refused to become a member of the Royal Academy and turned down a knighthood in 1950. Many artists preceding Moore sought to escape his shadow by taking a completely different aesthetic and even publicly deriding the artist
When Moore first announced a gift of works to the Tate, 41 contemporary artists signed a letter in the Times arguing that this would leave no room for the display of other contemporary artists. To the dismay of Moore, signatories included his prior assistants Caro and Phillip King. 
Moore was hurt by public criticism, but he had similarly condemned his own sculptural forefather, Auguste Rodin, early in his career. Like many of the artists who followed Moore, later in his career Moore admitted his debt to Rodin.
‘’ But you know, if you like something tremendously you may react and think you’re against it, but inside you can’t get away from it. This is what happened to me over Rodin. Gradually, I began to realise that a lot of things one might be using and being influenced by – Negro sculpture for example, which gives you a simplified programme to work on – are, compared with Rodin, too easy, so as time has gone on, my admiration for Rodin has grown and grown.' 
Henry Moore, Rodin: Sculpture and Drawings, the Hayward Gallery 
London, 1970 
If many artists remain hesitant to acknowledge a stylistic debt to Moore, most do admit that he gave them the ambition to strive for similar heights. 
‘’ If it hadn’t been for him I don’t believe English sculptors would have had half the confidence which is apparent today, half a century after Henry. Henry gave English sculptors who followed him the confidence to feel they could be as good as the best, could take themselves seriously and be taken seriously. ‘’ 
Anthony Caro, Celebrating Moore 
The Henry Moore Foundation 2006  
‘’ Moore was a bit the elephant in the room for my generation, something so big you couldn’t see him. Or didn’t want to. However, I do think that when, in the mid-1960s, the Observer could run a cover article titled The Greatest Living Englishman about Henry Moore, then it did both licence a degree of ambition and signified a level of aspiration for young men and young women that would be hard to overstate. ‘’ 
Richard Deacon, Body and Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art 
The Henry Moore Foundation 2014
In 2014 the Henry Moore Foundation staged ‘ Body and Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art ‘, an exhibition which celebrated the debt of contemporary artists to Moore’s aesthetic. The exhibition included works by Joseph Beuys, Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas, Bruce Nauman and Rachel White read amongst others. The influence of Moore can be discerned in these artists and much further afield. 
THE FUTURE OF MOORE’S LEGACY 
The legacy of Moore continues to develop. At the Henry Moore Foundation, we persist in working towards achieving his goals of promoting his work and supporting sculpture
through his legacy. Critical theory sheds new light on Moore and contemporary artists continue to respond to his work in new ways. The vitality of Moore’s works that he left behind in public and private spaces encourages belief that they will be enjoyed for generations to come.

https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore/henry-moores-legacy




TWO RECLINING FIGURES WITH RIVER BACKROUND - 1963
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 305 x 629 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 52
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING FIGURE – 1959/64
Royal Academy
© The Henry Moore Foundation. Gift of Irina Moore
 



MULTICOLOURED RECLINING FIGURE - 1967
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 140 x 197 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 99
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE - 1929
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 54 × 82 × 37 cm
Catalogue Number: LH 59
Credit Line: Leeds Museums and Galleries (Leeds Art Gallery).
Bought With the Aid of a Grant From the Board of Education and
The Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, 1941
 



EIGHT RECLINING FIGURES - 1967
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 260 x 229 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 97
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



EIGHT RECLINING FIGURES WITH ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUND - 1963
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 432 x 330 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 44
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



EIGHT RECLINING IN YELLOW, RED & BLUE - 1966
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 317 x 286 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 58
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 





RECLINING FIGURE - 1975
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 213 x 283 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 366
© The Henry Moore Foundation




FOUR RECLINING FIGURES - 1973
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 419 x 622 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 282
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
  



FIGURES WITH SKY BACKGROUND II - 1981
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 257 x 346 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 609
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



DRAPED RECLINING FIGURE - 1978
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork (Published Dimension): 182 cm
Catalogue Number: LH 706
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1986




RECLINING FIGURE - 1967
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 114 x 168 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 100
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE – 1959/64
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork: 114.5 x 261.5 x 91 cm
Material: Elmwood
Catalogue Number: LH 452




SIX RECLINING FIGURES WITH BUFF BACKGROUND - 1963
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 457 x 585 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 50
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



SILHOUTTE FIGURES WITH BORDER DESIGN - 1973
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 482 x 451 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 297
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



SIX RECLINING FIGURES - 1973
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 317 x 381 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 298
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECUMBENT FIGURE - 1938
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork: 139.7 cm
Catalogue Number: LH 191
Credit Line: The Trustees of the Tate Gallery, London: Presented by
the Contemporary Arts Society, 1939
 





RECUMBENT FIGURE - 1938




STONE RECLINING FIGURE - 1979/80
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 985 x 1835 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 568
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE – 1945/6
Dartington Hall, Devon
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Photo: The Henry Moore Foundation Archive




EVE - 1980
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 267 x 356 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 575
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



GROUP OF RECLINING FIGURES - 1973
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 457 x 397 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 241
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



TWO RECLINING FIGURES - 1976
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 240 x 290 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 440
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 





SEVEN SCULPTURAL IDEAS - 1973
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 336 x 258 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 296
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING FIGURE - 1974
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 160 x 238 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 387
© The Henry Moore Foundation
  







RHINOCEROS - 1981
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 213 x 277 mm
Material: Etching in Black
Catalogue Number: CGM 634
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE: ARCH LEG – 1969/1970
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 260 x 466 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 610 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1987
  









LIFE FORMS: HENRY MOORE, MORPHOLOGY & BIOLOGISM IN THE INTERWAR YEARS BY EDWARD JULER 
New images of microscopic life and theories of biological development impacted profoundly upon Moore’s practice, leading him to adopt in the 1930s a biomorphic sculptural idiom that echoed the forms of living nature. 
In his polemical introduction to modern painting and sculpture, Art Now (1933), the British critic Herbert Read identified two ‘methods’, which he felt best described the approaches to art taken by contemporary artists. The first of these was an ‘empirical’ approach, which aimed to reproduce appearances. For Read, such dumb fidelity to surface appearances rendered the artist as little more than a slave to ‘the physiological mechanism of his sight’, and represented an aesthetic dead end.1 The second method – and in his opinion, the most productive – he labelled ‘scientific’. This approach required the artist to interrogate the structural nature of objects, in effect, playing the role of a scientist. The artist, Read wrote, ‘realises that the outward appearance of objects depends on their inner structure: he becomes a geologist, to study the formation of rocks; a botanist, to study the forms of vegetation; an anatomist, to study the play of muscles, and the framework of bones’.2 
No modern artist embodied more fully Read’s scientistic ideal than Henry Moore.3 In a monograph on the artist, published in 1934, Read saw the preponderance of natural forms in Moore’s work as symptomatic of biologistic sympathies:4 
[The] artist makes himself so familiar with the ways of nature – particularly the ways of growth – that he can out of the depth and sureness of that knowledge create ideal forms which have all the vital rhythm and structure of natural forms ... Henry Moore has ... sought among the forms of nature for harder and slower types of growth, realizing that in these he would find the forms natural to his carving materials. He has gone beneath the flesh to the hard structure of bone.5 
Indeed, Moore, made no secret of his interest in natural history, peppering his statements with allusions to biological principles and organic form in the 1930s and later.6 Interviewed by Arnold Haskell in 1932, he spoke of the importance of morphology to his practice, explaining, in particular, his joy at discovering new biological precepts to apply to his art: ‘I have studied the principles of organic growth in the bones and shells at the Natural History Museum and have found new form and rhythm to apply to sculpture’.7 This essay will thus explore Moore’s biologistic leanings in relation to contemporary theories of morphology, biomorphism, neo-vitalism and organicism. 
SHAPES IN TRANSITION: MOORE, MORPHOLOGY & D’ARCY WENTWORTH THOMPSON 
No project more eloquently conveyed Moore’s biological interests than a series of experimental drawings he produced in the early 1930s, which would come to be known as his ‘ Transformation Drawings ‘. Seeking to disclose the ‘principles of form and rhythm from the study of natural objects’, Moore suggested that these sketches of bones, tree-roots and lobster claws – pictured in various stages of rotation – were graphic studies of the morphological laws that underpinned the construction of form in nature.8 The most conspicuous aspect of his ‘ Transformation Drawings’ is the way in which the angle of vision drastically changes the form of the object represented. One study of a pelvic bone, for instance, dynamically illustrates a section of a pelvic girdle variously viewed head-on, sideways, from the bottom and from a bird’s eye view (fig.1). 
Here Moore’s familiarity with biology is evinced by the way in which the Transformation Drawings subtly echo the principles of organic form laid out in D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s morphological masterpiece, ‘ On Growth and Form ‘ (1917).9A scholar of natural history, Thompson steadfastly believed that the laws of mathematics could be used to explain the principles of growth and form in living matter and spent many years developing a theory to elucidate how every biological object was effectively a ‘diagram of forces’, shaped in time and space by quantifiable physical energies.10 Thompson’s book was heralded by scientists as making a substantial contribution to the field of experimental morphology. On the one hand, his thesis presented evolution in novel terms, as a sudden and mercurial force, rather than (as was traditionally contended by Charles Darwin and his nineteenth-century disciples) something slow and steady. On the other, Thompson’s rigorous adherence to mathematical law proffered a timely riposte to the mysticism that had begun creeping into early twentieth-century biology.11 In the long run, Thompson’s work helped birth the science of biomathematics and, to this day, has influenced a wide array of disciplinary fields, including art, architecture, anthropology (his morphology possessed great resonance for the nascent structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss), geography and cybernetics, to name but a few.12 
Thompson’s eloquent descriptions of living form sprouting, ballooning and metamorphosing into mathematically harmonious shapes particularly appealed to those artists who looked to nature for evidence of universal form values and for a re-vivifying alternative to contemporary abstraction’s mechanistic bias.13 For his part, Moore claimed to have first encountered ‘ On Growth and Form ‘ while a student at Leeds College of Art in the early 1920s,14 but, in truth, his interest formed part of a larger wave of modernist enthusiasm for the book which began during the 1930s and saw figures such as Read and the constructivist artist, Naum Gabo, introducing Thompson’s ideas to their close-knit circle of artistic and intellectual friends in London.15 
Over and above its importance as a canonical work of morphology, ‘ On Growth and Form ‘ attracted non-specialists because of its apparent accessibility and Thompson’s tendency to launch into contemplative, lyrical discussions of the aesthetic and philosophical implications of ‘form’. Indeed, Thompson’s poetic style of exposition and fondness for literary and philosophical references encouraged non-specialist reviewers to applaud ‘ On Growth and Form’s ‘ artistic flair, proclaiming it to be as much a great work of literature as it was of science.16 In a review of the 1942 edition of On Growth and Form, Read enthused that Thompson was ‘of the same ‘blood and marrow’ as Plato and Pythagoras, and [had] something of the geniality of a Goethe or a Henri Fabre’ and, as such, his book should become ‘layman’s property and be given general currency’. Indeed, Read was in no doubt as to the volume’s importance to artistic practice, claiming that he felt ‘confidence in pointing out the significance which this science of form has for the theory of art’. ‘Never before has such a range of specific natural forms been shown to possess the harmony and proportion we usually ascribe only to works of art.’17




Fascinated by the psychology of beauty, Read’s interest in morphology had been piqued during the early 1930s when he first began researching ‘the motives that lead man to prefer one shape to another’.18 Describing the course of this research in his semiautobiographical text, ‘ Annals of Innocence and Experience ‘ (1940), he explained that: ‘It was a short and obvious step to recognise at least an analogy and possibly some more direct relation, between [the] morphology of art and the morphology of nature. I began to seek for more exact correspondences, first by making myself familiar with the conclusions reached by modern physicists about the structure of matter, and then by exploring the quite extensive literature on the morphology of art’.19 These studies (which began as analyses of proportion in the BBC weekly, the Listener, in 1931) soon developed into a much bigger project in which Read sought to clarify how the Golden Section had played so ‘preponderant [a] part in the morphology of the natural world’ as well as art.20 Thus, ‘ On Growth and Form ‘ resonated particularly loudly for Read as Thompson, more than any other science writer, seemed to demonstrate ‘that certain fundamental physical laws determine even the apparently irregular forms assumed by organic growth’ and, in so doing, provided the grounds for analogizing between the morphologies of art and nature.21 Even though it is imaginable that his relationship with artists such as Moore and Gabo highlighted Thompson’s artistic significance for Read,22 his wider preoccupation with creating an ‘empirical’ theory of aesthetics stretched back a good deal further – to his previous incarnation as a literary critic and curator in the mid-1920s, when he acknowledged the role that physics and psychology had jointly performed in discrediting ‘transcendental reasoning’ while simultaneously shedding light on the ‘material origins of art’.23 
Read’s engagement with morphology formed part of a wider current of enthusiasm for morphology which had begun, in 1914, with the publication of the British art critic, Theodore Cook’s ‘ The Curves of Life ‘ and which, arguably, reached its apogee with the publication of the Romanian mathematician and writer, Matila Ghyka’s 1931 aesthetic thesis, ‘ The Golden Number ‘. Both of these publications were hugely important to Read’s developing morphological aesthetic; yet whereas Ghyka was cited as providing the ‘best up-to-date summary’ of the morphology of art it was ‘ On Growth and Form ‘ that Read recommended the reader consult to obtain ‘a more fundamental work, investigating the laws under which organic life evolves’.24  
Within ‘ On Growth and Form ‘, it was arguably Thompson’s chapter on ‘The Theory of Transformations’ that had the greatest impact upon Moore’s artistic practice.25 Utilising a grid-like system of mathematical co-ordinates to plot the shape of an organism, Thompson contended that any bodily deformation could ultimately be used to demonstrate a morphological kinship between species (fig.2). In addition, Thompson’s method of ‘transformation’ made it possible to hypothesise the intermediary but as yet undiscovered forms through which an organism had to pass before it evolved into another species: 
'' [It] is obvious ... that this [method] may also be employed for drawing hypothetical structures, on the assumption that they have varied from a known form in some definite way. And this process may be especially useful, and will be most obviously legitimate, when we apply it to the particular case of representing intermediate stages between two forms which are actually known to exist, in other words, of reconstructing the transitional stages through which the course of evolution must have successively travelled if it has brought about the change from some ancestral type to its presumed descendant.26  ''

The relevance of Thompson’s hypothesis to Moore’s practice can be judged by the simple fact that his ‘ Transformation Drawings ‘ formed the basis for many of his largescale sculptures in wood and stone. One sketch, for example, shows a jawbone imaged from a bewildering array of viewpoints (fig.3). Resting on its bottom edge in the central image, the mandible is at its most recognisable; the deep hollow on the upper left-hand side of the jaw and the jutting row of teeth signalling its corporeal origins. Moore, however – in a ‘ tour de force ‘ of artistic extemporisation – inverts the object, turns it upside down, rotates it and subtly alters its profile. In one image he adds the slightest hint of a face (three mere pinpricks for the eyes and mouth) while, in another, he exaggerates the contours of the jawbone to suggest the bulging forms of arms, legs and head. Thus transmogrified, the resulting images powerfully recall the turgescent, reclining forms that typify Moore’s sculpture of the period. 
Many of Moore’s morphological drawings include pencilled annotations scribbled across the page. These notes were used as a sort of creative shorthand for the sculptural process, enabling Moore to visually ad-lib upon the morphology of natural objects and imagine hypothetical forms, connected to the form depicted and yet part of a new and unique artistic configuration. Scrawled across the jawbone sketch, for example, is the legend: ‘In transferring studies into stone – harden & tighten, stiffen, taughten [sic] them up’.27 In a statement published in 1934 Moore summed-up the morphological properties of various natural objects in terms strikingly redolent of Thompson’s opus:28 ‘Bones’, he wrote, for example, ‘have marvellous structural strength and hard tenseness of form, subtle transition of one shape into the next and great variety in section. Trees (tree trunks) show principles of growth and strength of joints, with easy passing of one section into the next.




They give the ideal for wood sculpture, upward twisting movement. Shells show Nature’s hard but hollow form and have a wonderful completeness of a single shape.’29 Here Moore’s comment on the formation of bones closely echoes Thompson’s elegant account of the morphological forces to which bones are subject during their growth cycles: 
'' [We] have no difficulty in seeing that the anatomical arrangement of the trabeculae follows precisely the mechanical distribution of compressive and tensile stress ... The lines of stress are bundled close together along the sides of the shaft, and lost or concealed there in the substance of the solid wall of bones; but in and near the head of the bone, a peripheral shell of bone does not suffice to contain them, and they spread out and through the central mass in the actual concrete form of bony trabeculae.30 ''
Given Read’s own deep knowledge of Thompson’s morphology, it is possible that this passage inspired his extraordinarily Thompsonian reading of Moore’s nature-centric practice. In his 1934 monograph on the artist he spoke of the natural forms that served as models for Moore’s work using Thompson’s language of tensile stress and strain: ‘Bones combine great structural strength with extreme lightness; the result is a natural tenseness of form. In their joints they exhibit the perfect transition of rigid structures from one variety of direction to another. They show the ideal torsions which a rigid structure undergoes in such transitional movements’.31 Conceptualised within a morphological framework, Moore’s practice thus symbolised the quintessence of Read’s ‘scientific’ method, in which the artist realised ‘that the outward appearance of objects depend[ed] on their inner structure: [becoming] an anatomist, to study the play of muscles, and the framework of bones’.32 ‘ 
THE BIOMORPHIST PRODUCING VIABLE WORK ’:  MOORE & BIOMORPHISM 
Biology’s centrality to Moore’s practice was discussed most fully by the English critic Geoffrey Grigson in his 1943 monograph titled simply Henry Moore. ‘Biology must be acknowledged’, he pleaded, as a wellspring of inspiration for the contemporary artist and nowhere was this more evident than in Moore’s turgescent, fluid shapes. These ‘may be related to a breast, or a pear, or a bone, or a hill ... But they might also relate to the curves of a human embryo, to an ovary, a sac, or to a single-celled primitive organism. Revealed by anatomy or seen with a microscope, such things are included now in our visual knowledge’.33 
A poet by profession, Grigson founded the literary review New Verse in 1933 and, in the pages of the modernist art magazine ‘ Axis ‘, formulated the term ‘biomorphism’ to describe the sort of organic, semi-abstracted forms favoured by Moore and some other contemporary artists.34 Drawing upon the nineteenth-century anthropology of Alfred Court Haddon and the biologistic criticism of the German art historian, Wilhelm Worringer, he coined the term to describe artworks that were neither representational nor wholly abstract but rather appeared to owe their origins, symbolically as much as, or 

more than, visually, to living things.35 In a couple of essays published in 1935, Grigson spelt out the aesthetic implications of the biomorphic idiom: 
'' They are [artworks] in which an organic-geometric tension is very well obtained. Many of their forms are almost certainly ‘degraded’, as orthodox anthropologists would say, from organic forms which came nearer to nature. Some forms are further from any originals, and those have been described as ‘biomorphic’, which is no bad term for the paintings of Miro, Hélion, Erni and others, to distinguish them from the modern geometric abstractions and from rigid Surrealism.36 ''
Within this critical framework Grigson left no doubt that it was Moore who most closely met his biomorphic ideals: 
'' Product of the multiform inventive artist, abstraction-surrealism nearly in control; of a constructor of images between the conscious and the unconscious and between what we perceive and what we project emotionally into the objects of our world; of the one English sculptor of large, imaginative power, of which he is almost master; the biomorphist producing viable work, with all the technique he requires.37 ''
While the appellation ‘biomorphic’ could refer to natural form in the widest possible sense – encompassing objects as diverse as, nuggets of bone and the shapes of animals – it nevertheless relied upon the findings of biology to articulate fully the range of meanings to which it was subject.38. Artworks that conveyed a sense of vitality – such as sculptures by Constantin Brancusi, Hans Arp and Moore – were discussed by Grigson in biological terms, as abstract ciphers of vital energies or microscopical forms: ‘It is Brancusi whose polished unicellular forms have been the basis for such different figures, more complex, more ‘impure’, as those of Mr Henry Moore’, he wrote in 1935.39 Yet while the fluid, protoplasmic forms of Arp and other biomorphic modernists evoked what Alfred Barr, director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, would characterise as ‘the silhouette of an amoeba’,40 it was Moore’s swollen, pullulating shapes in wood and stone that – in Grigson’s eyes at least – most fully testified to biology’s influence on modernist art.41 ‘When I look at [Moore’s] carvings’, he wrote in 1943, ‘I sometimes have to reflect that so much of our visual experience of the anatomical details and microscopical forms of life comes to us, not direct, but through the biologist’.42 
THE SMALLEST UNITS OF CREATION: PHOTOMICROGRAPHY, BIOROMANTICISM & MOORE Photographic technology advanced enormously in the 1920s and 1930s.43 New methods of lens manufacturing better enabled the scientific visualisation of microscopic forms and tissue samples, while better lighting and staining techniques helped enhance the quality of the increasing number of micrographic images that found their way into the pages of the popular press.44The photography critic G.H. Saxon Mills, writing in 1931, hinted at the artistic importance of these technological innovations by speaking of the ‘development, scope and possibilities’ of modern photography, arguing that in ‘scientific observation, by means of x-ray or astronomical research, and in its amazing development in the cinematic form, its form is as yet hardly explored’.45Perceived as a sign of the contemporary age, photomicrography regularly appeared in the pages of photo-journals, and was readily identified as a symbol of the new photography.46 Scientific photography appeared ever more frequently in photographic publications designed for a general readership – such as Photography Yearbook – with special sections devoted to close-up photography alongside radiography, infrared imaging, telephotography and aerial photography.47




 In tandem with photomicrography, microcinematography also developed rapidly as a field as early film pioneers such as Jean Painlevé and Jean Comandon thrilled European cinema audiences with speeded-up and slow motion films of aquatic life, single-celled organisms and sprouting plant-life.48 Despite the scientific community’s dismissive attitude towards the use of such films as 'entertainment', the new genre boomed in popularity, particularly delighting avant-garde viewers who saw, especially in Painlevé’s films, evidence of an aesthetic sensibility skilfully choreographing the wonders of nature.49 ‘The science films of Jean Painlevé’, wrote the French critic Elie Faure, ‘in showing the dancing and glittering life of a mosquito, bring to mind the enchantment of Shakespeare and allow one to glimpse the exhilaration of the mathematician lost in the silent music of infinitesimal calculations’.50 Nature-centric modernist artists – such as László Moholy-Nagy – championed the birth of these photographic technologies, claiming that a new age of mechanical objectivity would purify the aesthetic sensibility and destroy pictorialism’s bankrupt artistic pretensions. Indeed, for Moholy-Nagy, photography had dramatically revolutionised vision by optically re-framing humanity’s understanding of the visible world and allowing modern artists to engage anew with visual reality. His highly influential book of 1925, Painting Photography Film, gave visual form to the objective bent of the new photography. Using examples drawn from a wide range of photographic technologies (including illustrations of scientific photography, such as photomicrography and X-rays), Moholy-Nagy urgently demonstrated the new photography’s decisive break with pictoralist art and the dazzling range of vision that modern lens technology offered the artist. 51 
In Britain the emergence of the documentary cinema movement significantly enhanced microcinematography’s presence in the public eye. By the end of 1929 almost a hundred natural history films had been produced by the company British Instructional under the series title of ‘ Secrets of Nature ‘ and shown to popular acclaim. An influential contributor to this series was Percy Smith, who had experimented successfully with making time-lapse films of plant life, which sped-up the process of growth by up to 96,000 times.52 While ‘ Secrets of Nature ‘ represented a diverse cinematic portfolio, ranging from feeding time at the zoo to meteorological documentaries, a significant number of its ‘shorts’ were microcinematographic films tackling topics like pond life, 

germination and insect life. ‘ Magic Myxies ‘ (1931), for example, revealed the magnified life cycle of a slime fungus, sped-up to take place within a ten minute time-span. 
The proliferation of photomicrographic imagery led to frequent comparisons between modernist sculpture and microscopical form. In his photo-album of magnified natural structures, ‘ World beneath the Microscope ‘ (1935), W. Watson Baker accompanied the photograph of a sea-urchin shell, shot in extreme close-up, with the caption: ‘The modern sculptor must envy the massiveness of form, the grandeur of contour, of this small shell, whose dovetailing makes a strange and interesting pattern’.53In turn, the modernist painter and critic John Piper felt that such photomicrographic enlargements revealed an underlying affinity between scientific photography and modern art: ‘It is amusing in fact to turn the pages and notice the artists suggested by the photographs: Klee (anchors and plates of Synapta), Ernst (a great many times), Miró (sponge spicules), Giacometti (chemical crystals), and so on’.54 Similarly, in an essay – published in Apollo in 1930 – the Scottish documentary film-maker, John Grierson, provocatively suggested that the ‘organic’ qualities of modernist sculpture stemmed from the influence of microcinematography on the optical unconscious: '' It comes from a quickened consciousness of organic life which I am apt to think is the special stock-in-trade of a new generation. It may be that cinema has done something to open our eyes in this respect, with its power of revealing the constructions of plant life, animal life, and all life together in motion. It would still be more accurate to say that biology is getting into our blood. Certainly we become more conscious of the sculptural relations between these different worlds.55 ''
On the question of artistic modernism’s relationship to scientific imaging technology Moore was just as forthright. In a text published in ‘ Unit One ‘ (1934), a book of artist statements edited by Herbert Read, he recognised that the evolution of scientific technologies had impacted upon his practice: ‘There is in Nature a limitless variety of shapes and rhythms (and the telescope and microscope have enlarged the field) from which the sculptor can enlarge his form-knowledge experience’.56 
Visually, Moore’s sculpture bore all the hallmarks of a biologist’s awareness of nature’s microscopical structures. Artworks such as the amoebic ‘ Two Forms ‘ of 1934 (fig.4) powerfully convey the impression of swollen, cellular forms, gently distended by the dynamic flux and flow of internal fluids. The protuberant ‘ Composition ‘ 1932 (fig.5) correspondingly recalls the bulging asymmetry of microorganisms – as revealed in Watson Baker’s photomicrograph of Vorticella (fig.6) – and gives iconographic credence to Grigson’s claim that ‘[Moore] is interested in the round, solid shapes into which life builds itself’.57 That photomicrography offered artistic modernists, like Moore, a form vocabulary that artfully blurred the boundaries between representation and abstraction was a refrain that echoed loudly within the pages of modernist magazines and reviews.58 Walter Benjamin – in a 1928 critique of Karl Blossfeldt’s photo-album of magnified plants structures, ‘ Art Forms in Nature ‘ – drew attention to the closeness of form between modern art and the images newly obtained by microscopy:59




'' Even the most impassive observer would be thrilled to see that the enlargement of parts of plants visible to the eye could be as extraordinary as plant cells glimpsed through a microscope. When we remember that Klee and, even more, Kandinsky worked for so long on the elaboration of forms which only the intervention of the microscope could – brusquely and violently reveal to us, we notice that these enlargements of plants also contain original stylistic forms.60 ''
In Britain the publication of Blossfeldt’s macrophotographs caused something of a media sensation, leading to an editorial in the Times, three pages of coverage in the Illustrated London News and a flurry of reviews in the arts pages of newspapers and journals such as the Listener, the Architectural Review and the Times Literary Supplement.61 This was accompanied by an exhibition, curated by Robert Wellington, at the Zwemmer Gallery (the exhibition space of Blossfeldt’s English publisher, Zwemmer), which daringly juxtaposed Blossfeldt’s close-up photographs of seed-heads, burs and blossom with examples drawn from industrial design and the applied arts.62 For those of a neo-romantic disposition,63Blossfeldt’s close-ups provided evidence of photography’s ability to furnish artists with motifs drawn from the organic world (fig.7).64 Thus, the painter, photographer and critic, Paul Nash, commented in a review of Blossfeldt’s book in 1932 on the camera’s prodigious capacity for transforming the artist’s world view: 
'' Obviously, in certain cases, natural forms have supplied a motif, but in many it would have been impossible to detect the significance of natural design without the aid of a mechanical process. This is where the camera’s ‘eye’ proves its incalculable power, but not as an archaeological, botanical or merely curious discoverer of ‘interesting’ comparisons between art and nature; its importance lies, surely, in the wealth of matter it places at the disposal of the modern sculptor or painter.65 ''
Blossfeldt’s photographs also provided the basis for the critic Reginald Wilenski’s critique of modernist sculpture, ‘ The Meaning of Modern Sculpture ‘ (1932). The apparent orderliness and symmetry of Blossfeldt’s close-ups gave the lie to claims that the abstract prejudices of modernist sculpture were a rejection of ‘life’ and ‘nature’. On the contrary, noted Wilenski: 
'' It is impossible to sustain the Romantic notion of a wild, free, ragged, ‘nature’ when we examine the enlarged photographs of plant forms in Professor Blossfeldt’s [books]. These photographs transform the apparently ragged constituents of a tangled hedgerow into a series of structures informed with a most definite shape, with most evident order and most evident logic. The study of these photographs makes it quite clear that ... the artist who gives us truth to form is the artist who symbolises the forms contained in the hedgerow by geometric forms.66 '' 
Although Wilenski, in championing an ordered and geometric form of artistic modernism, diverged from Grigson’s biomorphic middle-ground between ‘the new preRaphaelites of ‘ Minotaure ‘ and the unconscious nihilists of extreme geometric abstraction’, like Grigson, he was convinced of the contemporary impact of biological form on modernist practice and singled-out Moore’s abstract semi-figurations as symbolising ‘the formal principles of life’.67 ‘I have done my work badly’, he claimed, ‘if [the reader] does not regard ... Moore’s ‘ Composition ‘ ... as an enlargement of experience by imaginative organisation of form symbolic of human-animal-vegetable life’ (fig.8).68 
The impression that there was a powerful relationship between photographic technology and modernist art was hypothesised by the Hungarian art theorist Ernö Kállai during the late 1920s.69 Motivated by Benjamin’s critique of Blossfeldt and Moholy-Nagy’s 1929 ‘ Film und Foto ‘ exhibition, which aestheticised the new scientific photography, Kállai theorised that technology, especially microscopy and x-ray photography, had revealed the ‘deep structure’ of the world in ways that paralleled the aesthetic intuitions of artistic modernists.70 The type of art which appeared as a result of this biological insight – what perhaps might be termed biomorphic modernism – Kállai labelled ‘bioromanticism’ and saw, in quasi-mystical, neo-romantic terms, as a technological return to nature.71 
Kállai’s biologistic speculations formed part of a larger wave of neo-romantic thought which emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a philosophical response to the perceived shortcomings of materialism, positivism and mechanism and which included ‘a belief in the primacy of life and life processes, of biology as the paradigmatic science of the age, as well as an anti-anthropomorphic worldview’.72 This biologistic wellspring of neo-romantic sentiment held common cause against reductionist ideologies, preferring instead those philosophies – such as vitalism, holism and monism – which championed a pantheistic, holistic or biophilic attitude towards life.73 
In Britain the impact of biologistic philosophies on thinking about the direction and values of contemporary art was evident not only in Grigson and Wilenski’s art criticism but also in the statements of Read and Moore, both of whom regularly espoused a biologistic viewpoint in their writings on art. Read, in particular, was inspired by the neovitalist theories of the French philosopher, Henri Bergson, whose vision of an incorporeal ‘vital’ impulse – the élan vital – which creatively shaped evolutionary development achieved widespread popular acclaim upon its publication in 1907.74 As late as 1955, Read maintained that ‘the inspiration I continue to receive from the only metaphysics that is based on biological science [is] the metaphysics of Henri Bergson’.75 




In essence, neo-vitalism – from which Bergson’s philosophy derived – profoundly rejected the materialist idea that living organisms were simply complex machines and that ‘mind’ itself was little more than a by-product of biochemical processes. Instead, neo-vitalists recognised ‘life’ and ‘mind’ as dynamic, immaterial forces that actively intervened in the biological development of organic matter; yet, in so doing, flouted the accepted laws of chemistry and physics.76 Arguably, the greatest contemporary ally to the cause of neo-vitalism was the German biologist, Hans Driesch (1867–1941), whose experiments with sea-urchin embryos led him to think of organisms as dynamic selfadjusting bio-systems, the development of which was, to some extent, independent of physico-chemical forces.77 Translated by C.K. Ogden into English in 1914, Driesch’s work – like Bergson’s – was a catalyst for the emergence of the neo-vitalist movement in Britain and spurred writers and philosophers as diverse as D.H. Lawrence, George Bernard Shaw and C.E.M. Joad to introduce a vitalist, pantheistic viewpoint to their work.78In the case of Read, the effect of neo-vitalism on his aesthetic is perhaps most evident in an early piece of writing on Moore – published in The Meaning of Art in 1931 – in which Moore’s ‘greatest success’ was defined as his ability to visualise form within the unshaped block of stone: 
'' We cannot see all round a cubic mass; the sculptor therefore tends to walk round his mass of stone and endeavour to make it satisfactory from every point of view. He can thus go a long way towards success, but he cannot be so successful as the sculptor whose act of creation is, as it were, ‘ a four-dimensional process growing out of a conception which inheres in the mass itself ‘.79 ''
Here neo-vitalism is incorporated into an aesthetic that privileges the immaterial, creative agency of the artist. By likening the act of artistic creation to an élan vital which – like the kernel of a sprouting seed – implants within the block of stone or wood the germ of aesthetic vitality, Read equates Moore to a god-like creator ‘who [does] not replicate given objects, but adds new ones to the repertory of nature’ – an opinion that, as the art historian Rosalind Krauss has shown, was common within biocentric modernist circles in the 1930s.80 A neo-vitalist sensibility is similarly evident in Moore’s artistic philosophy. Just as an incorporeal life force animated inert matter in neo-vitalist dogma so Moore, in 1934, portrayed the expressivity of sculpture as a quality that was innate and not dependent upon mere similitude: ‘For me a work must first have a vitality of its own. I do not mean a reflection of the vitality of life, of movement, physical action, frisking, dancing figures and so on, but that a work can have in it a pent-up energy, an intense life of its own, independent of the object it may represent’.81 This neo-vitalist impression of ‘pent-up energy’ was deeply connected to the spatial disposition of the object, how it kinaesthetically enlivened the visual field. Asymmetry was central to this aesthetic for Moore as it greatly increased the number of viewpoints from which a sculpture could be apprehended, compelling the viewer to actively move around the object: ‘Sculpture fully in the round has no two points of view alike. The desire for form completely realized is connected with asymmetry. For a symmetrical mass being the same from both sides cannot have more than half the number of different points of view possessed by a non-symmetrical mass’.82 
Importantly, asymmetry was recognised by modernist artists and critics as a morphological quality inherent to living organisms and powerfully illustrative of nature’s formative principles. Indeed Moore often spoke of how irregularity of form was a quintessential aspect of organic life: ‘Asymmetry is connected with the desire for the organic (which I have) rather than the geometric. Organic forms though they may be symmetrical in their main disposition, in their reaction to environment, growth and gravity, lose their perfect symmetry’.83 Moore derived this opinion from experimental morphology in which physical energies were seen to dynamically warp organic matter, like the amorphous shapes of wind-carved sandstone, into lop-sided or asymmetrical forms. D’Arcy Thompson wrote of how the distinct curvature of living form was the product of surface tensions and the contractility of cytoplasmic structures under the pressure of gravity or thermodynamic energies. This was particularly evident in the case of the amoeba – a primitive, single-celled organism – which he understood to be ‘the very negation of rest or of equilibrium [as the] creature [was] always moving, from one protean configuration to another; its surface tension [being] never constant, but continually [varying] from here to there’.84 As the surface tension of the amoeba’s watery, protoplasmic membrane was dynamically fluid, the tiny creature could never acquire symmetry; but, instead, passed rapidly from one distended, bulbous shape to another. Indeed, Thompson argued that, subject to extreme molecular forces, microscopic structures were always in a state of disequilibrium, producing forms that ‘are in continual flux and movement, each portion of the surface constantly changing its form, passing from one phase to another of an equilibrium which is never stable for more than a moment’.85 Owing to its perpetually mutable form, the amoeba – and other cytoplasmic, unicellular beings – embodied for biophilic modernists a dynamic process of vital activity or metamorphosis that, like the creeping tendril of a germinating seed, powerfully symbolised life’s generative energies.86 Bergson, for his part, testified to the value of the amoebic form to neo-vitalist philosophy, remarking that its very volatility singled it out as the living embodiment of the élan vital: ‘The amoeba deforms itself in varying directions; its entire mass does what the differentiation of parts will localise in a sensorimotor system in a developed animal’.87 Naturally enough, the ballooning, asymmetrical swell of the unicellular form was a key component of biomorphic modernism, forming an integral component of what Alfred Barr described – in decidedly amoebic terms – as ‘a soft, irregular, curving silhouette half-way between a circle and the object represented’.88 He dubbed this undulating, disproportionate contour the ‘Arp shape’, after the biomorphic style of the German-French sculptor Hans Arp, which, he described as ‘a kind of sculptural protoplasm, half-organic, half the water-worn white stone’ (fig.9).89 Among the modernists who Barr claimed exploited Arp’s biomorphic idiom, Moore was prominent, representing a biomorphic style that was ‘organic in form’.90 Developing this theme in 1943, Grigson saw in Moore’s biomorphic semifigurations evidence of a deep interest in the kind of single-celled or microscopic life that existed beneath the level of consciousness, in the ‘rounded limbs of a human foetus, a fertilized egg, or the heart of a water-flea, or even the pneumococcus that chokes and ruins the lungs’.91 
Throughout his life, Moore testified to the importance of science to his practice and enjoyed the friendship of internationally renowned scientists and engineers, such as the physicist Desmond Bernal and the zoologist Solly Zuckerman.92 Of these relationships, perhaps the most telling was his friendship with the evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley who, Moore claimed, would ‘often drive out here [with his wife Juliette] with little bits of bones or information. I mean they knew that I was very keen on bone structure, and Julian asked me to go and see on one occasion the skull of an elephant, which was the most wonderful sculptural object’.93 First broadcast in 1967, this statement – made on the occasion of Huxley’s eightieth birthday – demonstrates just how keenly biological theory and organic form continued to influence Moore’s aesthetic philosophy until late into his career. Enthused by the current of interest in biology and photomicrography that emerged within British and European modernist circles in the 1930s, Moore revealed deep bioromantic sympathies that enlivened his work from the 1930s onwards with vital rhythms and organic imagery.94 
B
http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/henry-moore/edward-juler-lifeforms-henry-moore-morphology-and-biologism-in-the-interwar-years-r1151314










VIOLET TORSO ON ORANGE STRIPES - 1967
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 165 x 197 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 86
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING MOTHER & CHILD – 1974/76
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 213 cm
Material: Plaster
Catalogue Number: LH 649 primary
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation:
Gift of the Artist 1977, on Long Loan to the Dallas Museum of Art




RECLINING FIGURES WITH BLUE CENTRAL COMPOSITION - 1967
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 283 x 197 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 84
© The Henry Moore Foundation




THREE RECLINING FIGURES - 1980
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 231 x 180 mm
Paper/Support: Off - White Medium - Weight Wove
Catalogue Number: HMF 80(97)
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1997




TWO RECLINING FIGURES IN YELLOW & RED - 1967
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 343 x 298 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 73
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING FIGURE: ANGLES - 1979
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 218 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 675 cast a
Credit Line: Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan




IDEAS FOR SCULPTURE: RECLINING MOTHER & CHILD - 1982
Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 307 x 234 mm
Paper/Support: Cream Lightweight Wove
Catalogue Number: HMF 82(301)
Inscription: Ballpoint Pen l.l. Reclining Mother & Child
Credit Line: HMF Enterprises




RECLINING FIGURE WITH CLIFF BACKGROUND - 1976
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 244 x 338 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 436
© The Henry Moore Foundation




IDEAS FOR SCULPTURES - 1975
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 254 x 350 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 365
© The Henry Moore Foundation




PRELIMINARY IDEAS FOR UNESCO SCULPTURE, 1956
Gelatin Silver Print Mounted on Stock Card, Printed
Dimensions: 40 × 50.2 cm
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING WOMAN III - 1980/81
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 524 x 590 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 593
© The Henry Moore Foundation




STONE RECLINING FIGURE WITH ARCHITECTURE BACKGROUND - 1979/80
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 991 x 1311 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 569
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING WOMAN I - 1980/1981
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 524 x 590 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 591
© The Henry Moore Foundation




TWO PIECE RECLINING FIGURE NO:5 - 1963-64
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 243 x 373 x 165 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 517 cast 3
Credit Line: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek




THREE RECLINING FIGURE - 1975
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 130 x 188 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 420
© The Henry Moore Foundation




THREE RECLINING FIGURES - 1975
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 263 x 217 mm
Paper/Support: Blotting Paper
Catalogue Number: HMF 75(8)
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




THREE RECLINING FIGURES - 1976
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 462 x 385 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 438
© The Henry Moore Foundation






RECLINING FIGURE - 1966
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 292 x 238 mm
Catalogue Number: HMF 3165
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




MOTHER &CHILD WITH DARK BACKGROUND - 1976
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 337 x 343 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 434
© The Henry Moore Foundation




MAQUETTE FOR MTHER & CHILD: BLOCK SEAT - 1981
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 17.8 cm
Catalogue Number: LH 836
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1993




RECLINING FIGURE - C.1972
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 105 x 210 mm
Paper/Support: Cream Lightweight Wove
Catalogue Number: HMF 3448
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




RECLINING FIGURE - 1945
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 16.5 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 250 Cast hm
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1979




HALF FIGURE - 1930
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 49.4 x 35 x 23 cm
Material: Ancaster Stone
Catalogue Number: LH 91
Credit Line: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne:
Felton Bequest 1948




STUDY FOR ‘ GROUP OF DRAPED FIGURES IN A SHELTER ‘ - 1941
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Frame: 529 x 428 x 31 mm
Paper/Support: Cream Lightweight
Catalogue Number: HMF 1672
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of Irina Moore 1977




RECLINING FIGURE - 1939
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 27.9 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 202 Cast hm
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired by Exchange
With the British Council 1991




TWO RECLINING FIGURES - 1977/78
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 302 x 225 mm
Material: Etching in Black
Catalogue Number: CGM 467
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING MOTHER & CHILD WITH BLUE BACKROUND - 1982
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 546 x 753 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 654
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING FIGURE 1945/1946
Private Collection
© Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation
Tate Modern




THE OBSERVERS - 1981
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 225 x 251 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 626
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RED & BLUE STANDING FIGURES - 1950
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 305 x 235 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 36
© The Henry Moore Foundation




THE THREE MARYS - 1981
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 225 x 251 mm
Catalogue number: CGM 627
© The Henry Moore Foundation




MAQUETTE FOR RECLINING FIGURE: PROP - 1975
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 27.9 cm
Material:plaster
Catalogue Number: LH 676
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




RECLINING FIGURE - 1976
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 176 x 254 mm
Paper/Support: Cream Lightweight Wove
Catalogue Number: HMF 76(19)
Inscription: Pencil u.l. Not in Artist's Hand 12
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




RECLINING WOMAN: ELBOW - 1981
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork: 221 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 810 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1986




SEATED FIGURE: ARMLESS - 1949
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 23 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 272a Cast hm
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




RECLINING FIGURE: SMALL HEAD - 1980
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 13.7 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 794 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1986










ERICH NEUMANN ON HENRY MOORE: PUBLIC SCULPTURE & THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS BY TIM MARTIN 
The psychoanalyst Erich Neumann applied Carl Jung’s concepts about the unconscious mind in his book on Moore’s sculpture, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore (1959), in which he described the artist’s imagination as essentially feminine. Although original and for a period influential, Neumann’s ideas about sculpture remain today largely unexamined. The psychoanalytically informed nature of many of the concepts we use today to discuss the aesthetics and function of sculpture can be traced back to early and mid-twentieth century critical debates that, inevitably given his stature, coalesced in some measure around the work of Henry Moore. From the 1930s to the 1980s his sculptures were the subject of discussion by a number of critics who, reflecting a widespread fascination with such matters, took an active interest in psychoanalysis and its application to art. These included such well-known figures as George Wingfield Digby, Herbert Read, Adrian Stokes, David Sylvester and Peter Fuller. Of all such writers, however, the Israeli psychoanalyst Erich Neumann (1905–1960) provided perhaps the most thoroughgoing application of psychoanalytic concepts to Moore’s work. In his lavishly illustrated book ‘ The Archetypal World of Henry Moore ‘, published in 1959, Neumann (fig.1) hailed Moore as a paragon of healthy modern psychical development and as an artist who deserved the worldwide adulation he was receiving at the time. According to Neumann, Moore was remarkable for being in touch with his ‘anima’, the feminine side of his unconscious, and for heralding a new age based on a collective archetype he called the ‘Great Mother’. Of Moore’s psychoanalytically influenced critics Neumann was the most extensive in his claims and yet he never met Moore. Read, Stokes and Sylvester knew Moore and shared a circle of friends centred on the London art world; by contrast, Neumann’s views on the artist were inspired by the writings of the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung (1875–1961). Despite being one of Jung’s most gifted students, Neumann is a figure whose history is relatively little known, particularly in art historical circles. This essay seeks to contextualise Neumann’s views on Moore’s work in relation to his earlier writings on art and the unconscious, and it traces his subsequent connections with the British art world through Herbert Read. It then examines Neumann’s book in detail, recording the responses to it by Moore and critics of the period, as well as more recent authors. In conclusion, it reviews Neumann’s basic understanding of sculpture and examines how it was adapted and modified by sculptors in the 1960s and 1970s in ways that demystified some of its more romantic claims. 
ERICH NEUMANN & CARL JUNG  
Seven years younger than Henry Moore, Erich Neumann was born in Berlin in 1905 into a non-practicing Jewish family. He attended university in Nuremberg, studying philosophy and psychology, including the work of Freud and Jung. Neumann went on to 

study medicine in Berlin but on completion of his studies was denied an internship because of the race laws introduced by the Nazi government.1 Neumann spent time writing poetry and a novel, and developed his understanding of contemporary art and literature, notably the novels of Franz Kafka. Married and with Nazis policing the streets of Berlin, Neumann decided in 1933 to emigrate to Palestine. However, he travelled first to Zürich where he met Jung, the founder of what was called analytic psychology (which was distinct from the school of psychoanalysis established by Freud). Neumann was twenty-eight years old, and Jung was thirty years his senior. Neumann decided to stay in Zürich and enter analysis with Jung, while his wife Julia entered analysis with Jung’s wife Emma. 
In Zürich the Neumanns studied Jung’s descriptions of the unconscious as a field of autonomous patterns of thought and images, or ‘archetypes’. Variously framed by individuals and their cultures, archetypes included, for example, the figures of the great mother and the great father, events such as birth and death, and motifs such as the flood or the apocalypse. In search of evidence to support his theories, Jung trawled freely through a wide range of ethnographic and historical records, including Sir James George Frazer’s  ‘The Golden Bough ‘ (1890), the ancient Chinese text I Ching and the esoteric teachings of the Kabbalah. In these he found what he described as remarkable consistencies in human culture due to the commonality of human instincts and received experience. Jungian therapy involved identifying a person’s archetypes and helping them emerge through a process of transformation, maturation and unification in the ‘self’ archetype, the inner godhead. 
After nearly a year of Jungian analysis and study, Erich and Julia Neumann qualified as analysts. But he disagreed with his mentor on two topics: the best way to resist antisemitism and the value of modern art. In 1932 Jung had criticised the work of Picasso, writing: 
 ‘’ It is the ugly, the sick, the grotesque, the incomprehensible, the banal that are sought out – not for the purpose of expressing anything, but only in order to obscure; an obscurity, however, which has nothing to conceal, but spreads like a cold fog over desolate moors; the whole thing quite pointless, like a spectacle that can do without a spectator. ‘’ 
He had continued by condemning  
‘’ the man in him [Picasso] who does not turn towards the day-world, but is fatefully drawn into the dark; who follows not the accepted ideals of goodness and beauty, but the demoniacal attraction of ugliness and evil. It is these antichristian and Luciferian forces that well up in modern man and engender an all-pervading sense of doom, veiling the bright world of day with the mists of Hades, infecting it with deadly decay, and finally, like an earthquake, dissolving it into fragments, fractures, discarded remnants, debris, shreds, and disorganised units.2 ‘’ 




Perhaps under Neumann’s influence, Jung backpeddled in a later version of the essay in 1934, the year Newmann finally emigrated to Palestine, but the damage was done.3 To Neumann’s dismay, Jung’s comments were used to tar modern art with the brush of psychosis.4 In 1937 – the year Neumann, then running a busy practice in Tel Aviv, heard that his father had been beaten to death by the Nazis – the German government organised an exhibition called ‘ Entartete Kunst ‘ (Degenerate Art), which sought to demonstrate that avant-garde art was a product of sick minds and an unhealthy culture. During the war years Neumann developed independent theories while maintaining a regular correspondence and close intellectual rapport with Jung. 
Published in 1948, Neumann’s first book, ‘ Depth Psychology and a New Ethic ‘ marked the beginning of his longstanding interest in ethical matters. Mindful of the lessons of fascism and the war, he argued that the individual can combat collective evil but, for this to happen, the ego must give up its pretensions of innocence and facile victim psychology and recognise its ‘shadow’ evil side. In particular, the book warned of the dangers of projecting an inner unconscious evil onto others. Contemporary utopian ideologies (Nazism, communism or Zionism) promised an ultimate good but in pursuit of this good projected evil onto others (Jews, capitalists or Arabs) and sanctioned horrible crimes. Newman, by contrast, called for new ethics that would accept and explore the darker side of human beings and then seek to unify the good and the bad aspects of the psyche. Jungians in Zürich and London criticised the book but Jung himself invited Neumann to speak at the annual Eranos lectures, held in the Swiss town of Ascona. (Eranos is a Greek word for an un-hosted, egalitarian banquet to which every guest brings a different contribution.) The series brought together speakers on psychology, philosophy, mythology, comparative religion and science, and papers were published in the Eranos Jahrbuch.5 
Neumann followed his Eranos debut with a book that attempted no less than the history of man’s psychological development. ‘ The Origins and History of Consciousness ‘ (1949) suggested that the consciousness of individuals and of the collective developed in parallel. Drawing on a range of myths, Neumann found that most cultures produced a succession of archetypes intended gradually to enhance individual self-awareness and maturity. Cultures also developed psychologically, evolving from a collective tribal maternal archetype to a paternal archetype, embodied in a prophet. This archetype eventually became repressive and was replaced by a higher and more modern archetype based on individual responsibility. Jung greatly approved of his colleague’s attempt to explain the evolutionary significance and relationship of different archetypes, and after his retirement in 1951, Neumann became the leading figure of the Eranos group, speaking at every conference from 1950 to 1960.6 Neumann became interested in how past historical archetypes might be understood and used to encourage modern individual and collective maturation. His 1953 paper ‘The Importance of Earth Archetypes for Modern Times’ examined the 
changing meanings of the Earth archetype from the middle ages onwards.7 Neumann concluded that the recent re-emergence of the Earth archetype, an image of one’s bond with the land, was crucial to the religious sentiments of modern man. He noticed, for example, how his own growing love of the Palestinian desert had matured his Zionist convictions. Neumann later used ideas from this paper in his book on Henry Moore but even more important ideas emerged in his next and most ambitious book, 
THE GREAT MOTHER: ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHETYPE ( 1955 ) 
 Richly illustrated with hundreds of photographs and drawings taken from the ethnographic collection of the Eranos archivist Olga Frobe-Kapteyn, this study compared Neolithic, Egyptian, Greek, Medieval and Renaissance myths and images of the feminine. For Neumann the archetype of the feminine and the Great Mother were elemental images arising from the unconscious, signalling, positively, release and growth, inspiration and wisdom, and, negatively, retention and devouring, or expulsion and rejection, as charted in a diagram (fig.2).8 Although the great mother was a dangerously dual figure, Neumann argued that western monotheist cultures needed to rediscover this archetype to counterbalance the dominant patriarchal consciousness that, left unchecked, could descend into a brutal masculine ethos, as seen in Hitler’s Germany. Briefly he mentioned Moore as an example of a contemporary artist who invoked the mother and child archetype in his sculptures.  Neumann’s book on the great mother was well received at Eranos and, in 1957, when Neumann and Jung determined the theme of ‘man and sense’ for the next year’s annual conference, they chose as a speaker a figure familiar to both of them, the English art critic Herbert Read. Read was broadly familiar with most psychologies of art and while collecting and analysing research on children’s drawings in the 1940s had been struck by the extent to which they conformed to Jung’s concept of the archetypes: the images in such drawings, Read believed, gave imaginary form to deep seated instinctual drives as they developed from infancy to adulthood. After meetings with Jung, Read was appointed editor of the English edition of Jung’s Collected Works and, on Jung’s recommendation, Read also helped publish Neumann’s two books. Neumann and Read were not acquainted until 1957 but both were deeply interested in parallels between individual development and collective evolution. Read’s ‘ Icon and Idea: The Function of Art in the Development of Human Consciousness ‘ (1955), for example, traced the admittedly limited similarities between the developmental stages of children’s art and those of Neolithic art.9 Animal archetypes, he suggested, arose from a combination of visual memory and vital instinctual interests, and images of hunted animals (as found in the caves of Lascaux, for example) were the objects of collective projected wishes and repositories of shared dramatic experiences.10 Read used the history of art to understand the development of the human mind and culture while Neumann used the history of art to tell a history of man’s ethical, intellectual and spiritual development. This difference was particularly evident in their respective contributions to the 1957 
Eranos lectures, where Read spoke of ‘The Creative Nature of Humanism’ whereas Neumann spoke of ‘The Question of Meaning and the Individual’. Both also spoke at the 1958 conference on the theme of ‘man and peace’, which examined how Jungian analytic psychology might be used to reconcile current social and political tensions (fig.3). From this conference Read published the paper ‘The Flower of Peace’ and Neumann ‘Peace as a Symbol of Life’, an article that compared an individual’s search for tranquillity with a collective search for peace between collectives. 
At one or the other of these gatherings Read may have suggested that Neumann develop his views on Henry Moore as a book.11 Wherever it came from, the idea certainly fitted well with another book Neumann was then working on called ‘ Art and the Creative Unconscious ‘. Published in 1959, this collection of four essays examined the works of the Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, the German writer and polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the painter Marc Chagall. Each, Neumann argued, was caught up in a universal archetypal human conflict that was played out and resolved using the particular belief systems of the subject’s cultural context. The first and longest chapter, ‘Leonardo da Vinci and the Mother Archetype’, argued that the genius of many a great male artist lay in giving expression to the anima or feminine side of their unconscious selves through the available artistic forms and conventions of their time. Neumann identified two kinds of artist, mother-oriented and father-oriented, finding that the, ‘creative man is very largely fixated in the matriarchal stage of the psyche.’12 ‘By his very nature he remains in high degree bisexual, and the retained feminine component is manifested by his increased ‘receptivity’, by his sensibility and a greater emphasis in his life on the ‘matriarchal consciousness’.’13 Neumann was also interested in female creativity and, with his wife Julia, developed a substantial thesis about women’s masculine unconscious ‘animus’.14
THE ARCHETYPAL WORLD OF HENRY MOORE ( 1959 ) 

Neumann started his book on Moore by stating that he viewed an artwork as less a product of an individual artist than an expression of the Zeitgeist or spirit of the age. Every culture, he wrote, had a canon of conscious beliefs and values and a set of underlying and generally unconscious assumptions, expressed as ideals, gods, demonic powers and superstitions (‘in every culture and every age we find without exception that its cultural canon is determined by unconscious images, symbols and archetypes’).15 Cultures repressed aspects of human instincts and suffered their often dramatic and unwelcome return to consciousness through the agency of scapegoats, heretics, revolutionaries and artists. 
Neumann then introduced Jung’s concept of the ‘archetype’, observing that there were many such emblematic images and that an artist might choose one or many of them. What mattered was the depth of the artist’s engagement and whether he or she could give it a form that resonated with the collective instincts of his or her peers. 




This resonance came less from the identity of the object selected by the artist (a landscape, an ox, a beggar) than from how it was represented. This distinction between content and form allowed Neumann to introduce the move to abstract form in modern art. Abstraction for Neumann sprang from a largely unconscious wish among avant-garde artists to explore the unconscious, a desire to ‘seek out and give shape to the primordial image as opposed to the delusory phenomenal image’.16 Through abstraction modern art sought to explore the visual imaginary of the unconscious. It was not, pace Jung, an outbreak of psychosis. 
With these concepts in place Neumann turned to Moore. He read the Yorkshireman’s female figures as expressions of archetypes of the ‘primordial feminine’ and the ‘Great Mother’. This rehearsed ideas found in his earlier book but what was new was Neumann’s claim that Moore was neither an introvert nor an extrovert but a ‘centrovert’. Moore found the feminine archetype in both an inner world of fantasy and an outer world of stone and wood. The first archetype to appear in Moore’s early work was an earth mother (more a matter of form-giving than symbolisation or allegory). Moore’s unconscious was essentially feminine and gave rise to forms that, like a newborn’s haptic experience of the mother, were found through touching sculptural material. The materials enveloped him, and his ego was receptive to a force within him and in nature (nature expressed ‘herself in him and through him in her role of natural sculptor of created things.’)17Moore was likened to a child nourished by the ‘creative principle’ of his feminine unconscious and, in turn, he, like a mother with a child, identified with his work. 
Moore developed his sculptural forms, Neumann noted, over periods of time, starting off with representational subjects that became increasingly abstract and disjointed. Abstraction allowed him to dispense with the canons of western sculpture and to grasp ‘the basic plastic character of the object in its essence’.18 Moore’s feeling for the forms of archaic art provided him with a second route into the ‘numinous’ realm of archetypes. To illustrate his points Neumann selected Moore’s Mother and Child 1936 (fig.4), a particularly abstract stringed sculpture, admiring the simple and powerful way in which mother and child arose out of the same material. He then compared this with a mother and child sculpture from the Bronze Age in which both figures were similarly part of a single substance. In his examination of Moore’s early work Neumann was not concerned, for example, with the differences between bas relief and sculpture in the round, or carving and modelling, but with the way form and content come together to evoke the unconscious. 
Having explored abstraction in the interwar years, Moore chose to place his works increasingly in the landscape. Neumann read this, too, through his theory of centroversion, emphasising how Moore sought both an inner psychical life and outer reality. Moore’s work was deeply archaic, Neumann wrote, in the way it went about this centring: he caught his essential projections, his inner beliefs, his hopes and fears about the landscape and its underlying reality. Seen in the landscape, Moore’s sculptures encouraged spectators to animate the landscape with their own unconscious archetypes and in this way a Moore sculpture became a site of collective projection. Moore’s sited works affected the spectator, Neumann claimed, because they took the spectator back to a point in psychical development where centroversion began. They reactivated in the spectator a childhood capacity for ‘participation mystique’.19 
As Neumann defined it, participation mystique took spectators beyond their projections to a plane where the boundary between subject and object was blurred or even void. The adult ego felt uncomfortable there but was able to adjust to it because this was the plane of empathy between mother and child. Neumann loved Moore’s work because, when sited in the landscape, it evoked this participation mystique as an existential ‘here and now’ reality. Moore’s larger-than-life reclining nudes made the spectator feel like a son or daughter of the great goddess, a feeling that Neumann wanted to become the basis for all human relationships. Neumann claimed that, through Moore, ‘Today a new shift of values is beginning, and with the gradual decay of the patriarchal canon we can discern a new emergence of the matriarchal world in the consciousness of Western man.’20 
Neumann interrupted his thesis to dispute David Sylvester’s view that the deepest meaning of Moore’s work laid in its sexual symbolism.21 The arches, holes and caves in his reclining women were not a veiled sexual reference, according to Neumann. Sylvester as well as Herbert Read were wrong to find in Moore’s work a personal childhood sexual obsession, a repetition compulsion, or a point to which he regressed. Moore’s work was not a pathological regression; it gave form to an absent feminine principle. Moore not only gave society a glimpse of its own psychical landscape but also gave new form to this transpersonal unconscious. He was captivated by the mysteries of the Great Mother archetype, which was not the same thing as an infantile sexual curiosity. ‘Being contained in something maternal that is greater than oneself, and emerging from it regenerated, are genuine psychic emotions felt by everyone who ... is transformed by this experience of mystery.’22 The hole in Moore’s sculptures was not uncanny, sombre or menacing, but it did create a hierarchy of magnitudes; the subject was small, dependant and attached. Moore’s sculptures of reclining women were not sexual or based on unresolved Oedipal issues. They were mystical in the sense that they were in touch with a psychologically archaic state that pre-existed the ego and were part primitive, part child-like. In this state the spectator explored a world presided over by a great principle of form-giving. Earth and maternal body were blurred into a unitary condition, drawing the spectator to participate in something akin to a modern cult of the feminine mysteries. 
After these reclining women Moore began to represent pregnancy and birth. Moore evoked a unitary world of mother and child, where, Neumann wrote, ‘Everything is 

connected with everything and acts on everything; there was no inside that does not appear as outside and as acting on the world, no aspect of the world that was not charged with psyche and psychically connected.’23 This unitary world changed depending on the culture. Medieval consciousness was spiritual and so its unconscious was full of the colour of earthly reality (Giotto and Leonardo). Moore’s society was consciously technological and so its ‘unitary world shows a terrifying, daemonic, and archaic face of which the godless world of consciousness knows nothing.’24 To a technological patriarchal society, Moore’s sculptures were ‘an invasion from another dimension of being’. Moore’s mother and child theme not only marked the birth of consciousness out of the maternal earth but also dramatised the birth of a new era in the modern unconscious, a counterpart to its technological consciousness. 
Through the 1930s and 1940s Moore explored many sides of the great mother archetype and, in telling the story of this development, Neumann presented something of a personal psychoanalysis of Moore, despite his reservations about Freudian theories. Moore’s surrealist works of the 1930s were a descent into a kind of hell where he struggled to free himself from a claustrophobic presence of the maternal. Drawing on his earlier book, Neumann saw a split in Moore’s treatment of the maternal archetype in which a nurturing guardian protectress turned into a deathly mother of graves and the underworld. ‘Two manifestations of the Great Goddess now begin to appear side by side and in opposition to one another.’25 This change was greatly influenced by his experiences of the Blitz. In the 1940s and early the 1950s, however, the archetype no longer exercised the same power and Moore emerged from this period with greater integration and individuation. Here Moore’s development was made to conform closely to the model of mental development advocated in Jung’s ‘ Symbols of Transformation’ (1952), which prescribed a journey of introversion leading to a discovering inner archetypal conflicts which are then played out and resolved. Neumann identified further stages in Moore’s development after the war in which the two archetypes become reconciled. His sculpture Three Standing Figures 1947 (fig.5) was seen to transcend the duality of the maternal archetype: ‘In them life and death are transcended, and out of these opposites they produce a third which – be it called Fate or Meaning – arises from the interplay of black and white, life and death, past and future, as a fulfilment of the present, a higher reality of being.’26 ‘Here the spiritual core of the feminine archetype has been reached and shaped in stone.’27 In the 1950s Moore’s series of ‘ Helmet Heads ‘ were seen as a response to a profoundly modern sense of anxiety induced by the annihilation scenarios of the Holocaust and the Cold War. As Neumann remarked, ‘The inhuman ruthlessness of technological science and of the warfare that is its identical twin stares out of this helmet.’ These sculptures were ‘connected with the anxiety of modern man’ of ‘being cut to pieces by shell splinters, roasted alive by atom bombs, or reduced to a mass of suppuration by radioactive fallout.’28 




Moore’s work reached its peak, according to Neumann, with his hollowed out ‘ Reclining Figure (Internal and External Forms)’ 1953 (fig.6) in which the artist found a language for expressing a global collective unconscious. His journey of transformation had led to reach a starting point for a ‘new age’ of man: ‘He also saw that art is the assertion and manifestation of the universally human, and that experience of this is the first step toward the conscious realisation of a unitary culture beyond race, nation, and time. He has glimpsed the oneness of the creative transpersonal powers in humanity itself.’29 
This was Neumann at his most appreciative of Moore’s work and Moore as an individual. Moore had made a fateful existential choice. The subject can be an ego, treating others instrumentally. Or it can be a self, meeting others in a divine context as free and independent beings. Moore had chosen to stand between these two positions as a truly modern subject who was able to find a centre ground. Moore’s centroversion allowed him to be aware of more than his inner archetypal life; he was aware of an inner being. He experienced this being as a creatively formative power that was alive in himself. As an ego he was part of this power, and as a unitary self he was this ‘oneness of the creative transpersonal powers in humanity itself’. Moore was admirable for an ethical courage, a determination to use his creative energy to bestow meaningfulness on individual and collective life. His hollow reclining figures provided a way for modern man to be in touch with the vital creative force of nature itself. ‘Centroverted’ sculpture produced a moment in which the spectator felt himself or herself as a part of a greater destiny. 
Neumann’s book made some big claims for Moore’s work but he did not have a chance to defend them or even to meet the artist. Neumann died of natural causes in 1960, at the age of fifty-give, only a few months after its publication. At the time of his death he was working on a greater understanding of the mother and child relationship as a constant process of crisis and creative renewal that became the psychical basis of adult creativity. He was moving, it would seem, in the direction of Adrian Stokes.30 
Neumann’s conclusion is worth comparing to Jung’s revised views on modern art in ‘ Psyche and Symbol ‘ (1958), in which he argued that the main challenge facing artists in the post-war period was the discovery of an archetype that synthesised Christ and Hitler, the divine and demonic forces of the unconscious, into a new image of the god within.31 In this context Neumann’s book claimed to find this artist and this archetype. From the experience of the war Moore created a synthetic unity suitable for use as a modern image of the deity. It was not a synthesis of two opposing male archetypes of good and evil, but a synthesis of female archetypes. Compared to Jung, Neumann had an unconventional understanding of archetypes, art and ethics, views that Read seems to have understood better than Jung. Before turning to this, it is important to gauge Moore’s rather guarded reaction to this book. MOORE’S RESPONSE TO NEUMANN 

Beyond common courtesy, it is hard to fathom Neumann’s reasons for sending his book to Moore. It was an approving but unsolicited analysis and, clinically speaking, sharing it with Moore put Moore at risk. Knowing that Moore had already received the book directly from the publisher, Neumann wrote to Moore on 8 July 1959, asking, ‘Would you let me know at which points and in which direction you do not agree with my analysis?’ Neumann planned to come to England the following year and requested a chance to ‘make your personal acquaintance’. He added that if writing was too burdensome, ‘you perhaps might entrust Sir Herbert with some remarks for me.’32 Moore seems not to have written back, but there is some evidence of what he made of this analysis. Moore was quite aware of psychoanalysis and publicly referred to Neumann’s book at least three times. In 1962 he commented: ‘’ 
'' Recently there was a book published on my work by a Jungian psychologist; I think the title was ‘ The Archetypal World of Henry Moore. ’ He sent me a copy which he asked me to read, but after the first chapter I thought I’d better stop because it explained too much about what my motives were and what things were about. I thought it might stop me from ticking over if I went on and knew it all ... If I was psychoanalysed I might stop being a sculptor. I don’t know, but anyhow I don’t want to stop being a sculptor.33 ‘’
In 1976, after Herbert Read and David Sylvester had published their own psychoanalytic accounts of Moore’s work, Moore recalled Neumann again: ‘’ 
But when the book came out I began to read the first chapter. After halfway through it I gave it up because I don’t want to know what makes me tick ... I don’t want to be influenced by what critics think because often they don’t know. And anyhow they are making it up.34 ‘’ 
In 1983 Moore commented a third time. Responding to a question about the erotic aspects of his work, Moore said: 
‘’ I do not have any desire to rationalise the eroticism in my work, to think consciously what Freudian or Jungian symbols may lie behind what I create. That I leave for others to do. I started to read Erich Neumann’s book on my work, ‘ The Archetypal World of Henry Moore ‘, in which he suggests a Jungian interpretation, but I stopped halfway through the first chapter, because I did not want to know about these things, whether they were true or not. I did not want such aspects of my work to become henceforth self-conscious. I feel they should remain subconscious and the work should remain intuitive. Perhaps the associations it can arouse are all the stronger for that very reason.35 ‘’ 
We might wonder why Moore was willing to grant validity to Neumann’s project and yet not read the text. Peter Fuller once suggested that Moore, like so many artists of his generation, was erroneously frightened that analysis might damage his creativity.36 If Moore did stop in the middle of the first chapter, he stopped before anything personal was said: Neumann’s introductory remarks were restricted to the relation between conscious content and unconscious form in sculpture.




In many recorded utterances Moore indulged psychoanalysis up to a point and then pushed away from it. Late in life, for example, he told an interviewer, ‘I suppose it could be explained as a “Mother” complex’.37 This rather Freudian remark resonates most closely with David Sylvester and not Neumann, who meticulously argued the opposite (in a section of the book that Moore allegedly did not read). To read Moore’s remarks sympathetically, his wish to ‘remain intuitive’ did not reject the goal of psychoanalysis, which is to make the unconscious conscious. He might be saying that he had his own way of doing this through art and consequently did not feel the need for analysis. What seemed to be on Moore’s mind, however, was less the danger of over-inflating his ego and more the risk of losing his potency as an artist or the power of his work to arouse associations. Here Moore may also have been playing along with Herbert Read, who believed that it was best for artists not to comment on such things.
HERBERT READ ON HENRY MOORE 
When it came to the visual arts Read and Neumann were probably Jung’s best interlocutors. In 1966 Read published his own interpretation of Moore’s work, ‘Henry Moore, Mother and Child’.38 Unlike Neumann, Read did not claim that Moore produced the feminine unconscious of a consciously militaristic and technological civilisation or that he served as the herald of a new cultural order. Neumann and Read differed in their reasons for admiring Moore and in understanding the reasons why his works could appear ugly. Neumann felt that Moore’s hollow reclining women used ugliness to evoke a powerful sense of vicarious suffering that helped the spectator digest inner impulses to evil and thereby digest a fragment of the collective impulse to evil.39In the final paper he delivered at Eranos, Read also addressed the question of why modern art can be ugly at times, finding in ugliness an antidote for those struggling to cope with the barren meaninglessness of life.40 Read thought Moore’s work could be ugly because the latter was in touch with his inner demons. His work represented Jung’s ‘shadow’ archetype to which Read added a Freudian twist: the shadow archetypes came from instinctual forces of life and death, Eros and Thanatos. Moore did not show woman in harmony; he showed woman in vitality, in paradox and in the pathos of her darker side. According to Read, Moore was sufficiently in touch with his inner demons and angels to have reconciled them in stone and wood and in this respect he was like an analyst. The artist ‘meets the psychic needs of the society in which the artist lives’ because he has worked through his neurotic complexes enough to become an analytic instrument of collective destiny. What emerged from this essay, which was written for the United Nations in the midst of the Cold War, was the claim that Moore’s sculptures were archetypes that could be equally used for collective reconciliation or personal individuation and unification. But, Read added, the sculptures could not achieve this single-handedly because the artist could not easily interpret his own work. This would be to risk what the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre called ‘Bad Faith’, a self-aware rather than spontaneous manifestation of the unconscious.41 To Read, the critic played a valuable and essential role in this analytic process. He used the art to help the public become more conscious of their transpersonal psychic life. 
The differences between Neumann and Read, however, were less substantial than the differences between Neumann and Jung. Jung’s therapies were meant to help the ego become the self (god-within) archetype. Neumann saw things differently. The self was not just an archetype (a representation of biological instincts) but also a truly sacred force, and to seek union with the godhead was to risk madness. Neumann’s therapies aimed to help patients realise their filiation to the divine while keeping their ego, while Jung helped his patients to become divine by losing their ego. Neumann was more religious than Jung but he was also far more wary of the fine line between religiosity and delusional psychosis. This is why Neumann developed his concept of centroversion and why he consistently emphasised Moore’s wise acceptance of the limitations of his materials and his culture. His ‘feminine’ wisdom led him to give way to existential realities but also make the best of them. 
NEUMANN IN RETROSPECT 

Neumann’s ‘ The Archetypal World of Henry Moore ‘ was highly erudite, sometimes noble and often eccentric; it was always thoroughly and unabashedly poetic and eclectic. Neumann was neither scientific nor systematic and he often failed to mention more obvious explanations for some of Moore’s work. Like Jung, he often failed to distinguish between causes and effects, and his comparisons were sometimes tenuous, inconsistent and unexplained. Neumann’s book on Moore developed speculations and opinions on matters that a more scientific psychology or art history would not attempt to explain. 




Throughout history why has man been so consistently, if intermittently, compelled by certain stories, sculptures and images of deities, such as the goddess of the earth or the mother and child? How, if at all, has human religiosity changed through history, and how can art help develop man’s ethical sensibilities? These are seemingly impossible questions to answer and yet some find them worth asking. This brings us to the rather obvious and substantial projection in this book: what Neumann wanted for his patients was what Moore, Neumann believed, wanted for his spectators – to feel like the son or daughter of the great goddess. While this was clearly an assumption about Moore, a kind of psychoanalytic gamble that he was concerned to test in his letter to Moore, it also allowed him to make a serious argument for the value of public sculpture, and it remains so.42 
Jung and Neumann were published by august Ivy League university presses, including Princeton and Yale. However, their prestige in academic circles declined with the rise of post-structuralism. From the 1960s a number of critics found that Jung’s analytical psychology overly promoted anthropomorphic projection and committed a kind of intellectual dishonesty. It encouraged individuals and society to live by myths and fantasies. It seemed to encourage the formation of ideology rather than its deconstruction. And, to an increasing number of psychoanalysts, its explanation of unconscious processes of image projection seemed flawed and insensitive to the function of language in the unconscious. 
It is worth mentioning that a part of Neumann’s general thesis was independently formulated by some minimalist and conceptual sculptors in the 1960s and 1970s. Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt, for example, valued a kind of sculptural negation of the collective consciousness or what they saw as an anti-monument to the collective unconscious.43 More fully still, earthwork artists such as Robert Smithson proposed that sculpture should represent entropy as the collective unconscious desire of a society that consciously wished for progress and consumption.44 Smithson, however, differed in his views on the nature of the collective unconscious: for him, it was ultimately a product of language rather than archetypes. We should bear in mind that the ideas Neumann was working with had their most productive application only with these important poststructuralist alterations. 
Despite these criticisms, Neumann became an important theorist in the post-war refashioning of masculinity. Analytic psychology became increasingly popular in Hollywood: movies with such stars as James Dean and Marlon Brando began to explore the feminine side of male identity. Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) explained the structural stages of Jung’s journey of introversion and became an acknowledged favourite of Hollywood scriptwriters and film producers, from to Walt Disney to George Lucas. Similarly, Neumann’s The Great Mother became popular in men’s therapy groups and in New Age philosophy. In the 1970s the Jungian dictum about ‘being in touch with your feminine side’ was almost a cliché and, to a degree, changed the arts. 
With its emphasis on the feminine unconscious, it is not surprising that Neumann’s book has remained an object of debate among art critics and art historians with psychoanalytic and feminist inclinations. Three recent essays have re-examined Neumann’s psychoanalytic study of Moore. In ‘Henry Moore’s Mother’, published in 1999, the art historian Anne Wagner did not question Moore’s preoccupation with the feminine but, contra Neumann, called for a more biographical psychoanalysis that would include Moore’s relationships with his mother, wife and daughter. Wagner also reminded us that Moore’s work was caught up in the formation and representation of an ideology of modern motherhood. This is complementary in some ways to what the art historian Julian Stallabrass has pointed out: willingly or not, Moore participated in a state-sponsored ideological programme (‘His unusual mix of human content and avantgarde style could serve as a suitable expression of the caring technocracy of modern democratic socialism’).45 Wagner also began to question Neumann’s gendering of the unconscious. She identified in Moore’s alabaster Suckling Child 1930 a moment in which the theme of maternal fecundity was reworked into something more paternal. ‘Maternity, to put it crudely, became the phallus – in signification, and strangely enough, in form. The gestalt of these seamlessly united figures summons penis and testicles.’46 




In her essay ‘Bombs, Birth and Trauma, published in 2000, Lyndsey Stonebridge found drawings such as ‘ Crowd Looking at a Tied-up Object ‘ 1942 (fig.7) that seemed to deal in patently phallic imagery.47 She and Wagner opened the way to a more playful treatment of the question of ‘where was Moore’s unconscious masculine side?’ They were questions that Neumann missed because of his adherence to Jung’s gendering of the male unconscious as feminine. Stonebridge in particular hinted that a Lacanian reading of Moore might be an antidote to a persistent emphasis on the feminine. It was a good point given that, as Lacan pointed out, the unconscious was not only a feminine ‘imaginary’ as determined by the mother but also a masculine ‘symbolic’ as determined by the father. From this perspective everything that Neumann said was valid but it completely ignored half of the dynamic of an adult unconscious. 
In ‘Erich Neumann: Theorist of the Great Mother’, an article published in 2006, the critic Camille Paglia offered a different feminist critique, one that welcomed Neumann’s emphasis on the imaginary side of the unconscious.48 She found many redeeming qualities in Neumann and his book on Moore. Granted, Neumann used Moore to present a stereotype of motherhood, but it was a positive stereotype, something that was not mediated by a preoccupation with language or social norms but a direct and powerful part of biological experience. In addition to being an admirable multiculturalist, Neumann’s return to nature was unabashedly romantic, something she found sadly missing among post-structuralist critics. For Paglia, Neumann’s Archetypal World offered a powerful and beneficial religious dimension to feminism that was far more rigorous and powerful, and far more widespread, than many realised. Interestingly, however, Paglia elided the fact that Neumann developed the majority of his theories to analyse men rather than women. 
‘ The Archetypal World of Henry Moore ‘ was Erich Neumann’s last book, one that synthesised his entire body of thought but over the last half century it has been Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology, who has had a vastly greater influence on modern art. This is a little surprising, even a bit unfortunate, given that Jung was less informed and sympathetic than Neumann. Although Neumann helped ensure that Moore’s work remained a touchstone for gender issues, many of his broader ideas about sculpture never caught on. This was probably because Neumann’s main thesis was rarely clarified. 
The basic thesis of ‘ The Archetypal World of Henry Moore ‘ was that sculpture should represent a collective unconscious in order to help maintain individual and social psychological health. As a general rule, sculpture should express what was socially disapproved and repressed; it should represent the private, inadmissible aspects of the collective unconscious. This made sculpture an important matter with substantial social responsibilities. This is why Neumann included his theory of centroversion – his greatest addition to Jung’s theories – to help critics and spectators identify sculptures that were too extroverted or too introverted, too neurotic (hysteric, phobic or obsessional) or too psychotic (schizophrenic or paranoid) to qualify as public sculpture. 
To many in the arts today Neumann’s book still seems to come out of cloud cuckoo land; and there may be a good point here. Neumann’s speculations were highly leveraged in an intellectual economy that is now relegated to junk status. But these later views do not diminish the interest of the extraordinary circumstances in which the book came into existence. These circumstances remind us of the remarkable faith placed in public sculpture in the 1950s, and that there have been moments in art history when many have longed for an art that would affirm the existence of a collective unconscious. Seen in this light, Neumann's writings could yet broaden our understanding of the history of Moore’s public reception. 
N
http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/henry-moore/tim-martin-erichneumann-on-henry-moore-public-sculpture-and-the-collective-unconscious-r1151316 




SEATED FIGURE 1924
Sculptures
Dimensions: 25.4 cm
Material: Hopton Wood Stone
Catalogue number: LH 19
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977










GALERIERE BERGGRUEN & CIE 1957
Lithograph
Dimensions: 62.9 × 43.2 cm
© The Henry Moore Foundation




WORKING MODEL FOR RECLINING WOMAN: ELBOW - 1981
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 86.5 cm
Material: Plaster
Catalogue Number: LH 809
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1993
 



FIVE IDEAS FOR SCULPTURE - 1981
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 353 x 251 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 610
© The Henry Moore Foundation




DRAPED RECLINING FIGURE - 1975
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 340 x 505 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 416
© The Henry Moore Foundation




FOUR IDEAS FOR SCULPTURE - 1982
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 235 x 305 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 649
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE: HAND - 1979
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork (Published Dimension): 221 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 709 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1986
 



FOUR RECLINING FIGURE - 1974
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 490 x 590 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 333
© The Henry Moore Foundation




FOUR RECLINING FIGURES WITH ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUND - 1976
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 219 x 353 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 430
© The Henry Moore Foundation






TWO PIECE RECLINING FIGURE: ARMLESS - 1975
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 61 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 685 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1987




SEVEN RECLINING FIGURES - 1978
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 311 x 384 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 495
© The Henry Moore Foundation




THREE PIECE RECLINING FIGURE: DRAPED - 1975
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 474 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 655 Cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1987




STRIDING FIGURE - C.1914
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Paper: 145 × 95 mm
Material: Linocut
Catalogue Number: CGM X1
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



SHEEP PIECE – 1971/72
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 570 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 627 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977
 



FOUR RECLINING FIGURES I - 1980
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 355 x 253 mm
Paper/Support: Bockingford White Wove
Catalogue Number: HMF 80(94)
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1987
 



FRONTISPIECE OF IL BISONTE CARTELLA - 1970
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 464 x 295 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 163
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING & UPRIGHT FIGURES WITH SQUARE FORM - 1981
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Frame: 630 x 482 x 32 mm
Paper/Support: White Wove
Catalogue Number: HMF 81(184)
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: acquired 1997






THREE RECLINING FIGURES - 1975
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Paper: 259 x 212 mm
Paper/Support: Blotting Paper
Catalogue Number: HMF 75(6)
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Gift of the Artist 1977




THREE PIECE RECLINING FIGURE: MAQUETTE NO:5 - 1977
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork (Published Dimension): 25 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 720 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1986
 



MAN & WOMAN - 1982
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 238 x 159 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 660
© The Henry Moore Foundation




WORKING MODEL FOR UNESCO RECLINING FIGURE - 1957
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: Artwork: 239 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 415 Cast 0
Credit Line: The Trustees of the Tate Gallery, London:
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1960




FIVE SCULPTURE IDEAS - 1979/80
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 737 x 737 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 564
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE, 1969-1970
Bronze
Dimensions: 243 × 379.6 × 203 cm
© The Henry Moore Foundation




RECLINING FIGURE: ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUND II - 1977
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 498 x 430 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 455
© The Henry Moore Foundation




MAN & WOMAN: THREE – QUARTER FIGURES - 1978
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 270 x 368 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 490
© The Henry Moore Foundation
 



RECLINING FIGURE -BUNCHED 1961-69



SEVEN SCULPTURE IDEAS II - 1980/81
Artwork Type: Graphics
Dimensions: Image: 378 x 282 mm
Catalogue Number: CGM 590
© The Henry Moore Foundation




IDEAS FOR SCULPTURE - 1942
Artwork Type: Drawings
Dimensions: Frame: 530 x 428 x 32 mm
Wash, Pen and Ink, Gouach Paper/Support: Off-White Medium-Weight
Catalogue Number: HMF 2039
Inscription: Pencil u.c. Holes in Sculpture
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 2008
 



DOUBLE OVAL - 1966
Artwork Type: Sculptures
Dimensions: 550 cm
Material: Bronze
Catalogue Number: LH 560 cast 0
Credit Line: The Henry Moore Foundation: Acquired 1992








HENRY MOORE  
1898-1925: CHILDHOOD & EDUCATION  
Born in 1898, Henry Spencer Moore was the seventh of eight children to mining parents who encouraged their children's education. Henry Moore was born at 30 Roundhill Road, Castleford, on 30 July 1898, to Raymond Spencer Moore and Mary Baker. Moore's recollections of his mother evoke a dignity that we see inform his sculpted female figures. For Moore she was un-resting yet a source of stability and protection. From his father, a politically active and self-taught miner who read Shakespeare and learnt the violin, Moore gained an appreciation for education.  
Growing up in Yorkshire as the child of a mining family, the early landscape of slag heaps and the cavernous subterranean world below, combined with the rocky outcrops of the nearby countryside such as Adel Crag, can also be said to have had an impact on the young artist. Indeed, the landscape is one which Moore would recall in works throughout his career. From the age of three Moore attended his local elementary school in Temple Street, where his teacher John Holland first noticed he had a facility for drawing. By the age of 11, after a hearig a story about Michelangelo at Sunday school, Moore had decided he wanted to be a sculptor. 
In 1910 Moore won a scholarship to Castleford Secondary School where he was taught by progressive teachers including Headmaster T.R. 'Toddy' Dawes and art teacher Alice Gostick, who nurtured his talent. Moore wanted to continue studying art, and in particular sculpture, after leaving school but his father encouraged him to complete teacher training, as it offered greater security. Henry's oldest brother, Raymond, was the first of the family to become a schoolteacher and was followed by two of his sisters, Mary and Betty. At age seventeen Moore worked as a student teacher at his old elementary school in Temple Street but did not enjoy the experience. At the age of eighteen he enlisted in the army. 
Moore went to London to volunteer, meeting on the way Douglas Houghton (later a Labour cabinet minister). He was turned down by the Artists' Rifles regiment (the obvious choice) because he was considered too short but eventually he and Houghton were accepted by the Civil Service Rifles and assigned to the 3rd Battalion. During active service in WWI Moore was gassed during the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 and returned to England to convalesce. Following two months in hospital he spent the remainder of the war as a physical training instructor before returning to France just as the Armastice was signed.  
After the war Moore received an ex-serviceman's grant to attend Leeds School of Art and was finally able to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. 
‘’ It was in those two years of war that I broke finally away from parental domination which had been very strong. My old friend, Miss Gostick, found out about ex servicemen's grants. With her help I applied and received one for the Leeds School of Art. This was understood from the outset merely to be a first step. London was the goal. But the only way to get to London was to take the Board of Education examinations and to win a scholarship. ‘’ 
Henry Moore in James Johnson Sweeney, 'Henry Moore', Partisan Review, New York 
March-April 1947, p. 182 
At Leeds School of Art Moore initially completed the two-year drawing course in one year. He could then finally begin to realise his childhood ambition by enrolling on the sculpture course. Sculpture had not been taught at the school since the war but in 1919 a sculpture department was set up just in time for Moore to become its only full-time student. At Leeds Moore met fellow artists Raymond Coxon and Barbara Hepworth. After two years at Leeds, Moore won a scholarship for the Royal College of Art, London, and moved to the capital in 1921. Coxon and Hepworth also enrolled in the Royal College. In London Moore absorbed as much as possible, not only from his formal training but also from the museums that were now on his doorstep. 
‘’ I knew that not far away I had the National Gallery and British Museum and the Victoria and Albert with the reference library where I could get at any book I wanted. I could learn about all the sculptures that had ever been made in the world. ‘’   
Henry Moore, in 'Conversations with Henry Moore', John and Vera Russell 
Sunday Times, 17 December 1961  
After Moore had finished the three-year sculpture course at the Royal College of Art he was granted a travelling scholarship to visit Italy and study the Old Masters. In 1924 Moore had also accepted a teaching post at the Royal College so had to delay his trip until 1925, when a replacement tutor was found. Moore continued to teach at the Royal College on a part-time basis until 1931.  
https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore/biography/childhood-andeducation 




HENRY MOORE 
1926 - 1939: CARVING A SCULPTURAL CAREER  
By the end of the 1920’s Moore had assimilated the early teaching and influences of his student years and developed his own unique modernist aesthetic. In the 1930s he began to establish a formidable international reputation.      
Whilst still a student, Moore had already begun to emerge as an artist of note on the London art scene. In 1924 he took part in his first group exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London. In the same year, he began to rent space to work at Grove Studios in Hammersmith. In 1928 he held his first solo exhibition at the Warren Gallery, London, which consisted of forty-two sculptures and fifty-one drawings. Moore was delighted with the reception of the show. “ '' [Dorothy Warren] sold £90 worth of my things – thirty drawings at £1 each, several to Epstein, several to Augustus John, and Henry Lamb – it was mostly other artists, and established ones, who bought, and that was a great encouragement to me. ” 
Henry Moore, in ‘Conversations with Henry Moore’, John and Vera Russell, 
Sunday Times, 17 December 1961   
It was also in 1928 that Moore received his first major public commission. Completed in 1929, he produced a carved relief of West Wind for the facade of the new headquarters of the London Underground at St. James's. Moore was one of seven artists commissioned by the architect Charles Holden to produce new work, among them Jacob Epstein. The influence of Epstein on Moore and that of the 'primitive' carvings he had seen at the British Museum as a student, can be readily seen in the bold and powerful figure.     
In 1928 Moore's personal life was no less exciting. Whilst still teaching at the Royal College in London he met Irina Radetsky, a painting student. The couple were married a year later. As a fellow artist Moore cherished Irina's opinion throughout his career. Together they moved to a home and studio in Hampstead, London which was then a hub of artistic activity. In the 1920s and ‘30s their neighbours included Marcel Breuer, Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Roland Penrose and Herbert Read. 
Whilst Moore enjoyed his position at the forefront of the avant-garde, within this supportive creative network, and was in receipt of increasing critical attention following numerous exhibitions, his new modernist aesthetic was too unconventional for many traditional critics. In 1931 Moore decided to resign from the Royal College of Art after a vicious press campaign against him was incited by his colleagues. In the same year he became the first Head of Sculpture in a new department at Chelsea School of Art. This was a post he held until 1939.  ‘’ What makes this kind of work all the more deplorable is that Mr Moore is paid by the nation to train its young men and women to become teachers or professional sculptors 
… Frankly, we think that Mr Moore’s work is a menace from which students at the Royal College should be protected. ‘’ 
Morning Post, 
14 April 1931 
Moore's new role at Chelsea School of Art still allowed him time to focus on his own work. In the 1930s the Leicester Galleries in London staged three solo exhibitions of the artist's work. Although most of Moore's output was destined for these shows he also participated in numerous group exhibitions during the decade, most notably the International Surrealist Exhibition in London and Cubism and Abstract Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, both in 1936. 

https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore/biography/carving-a-sculpturalcareer




HENRY MOORE 
1940 - 1947: A RISE TO FAME  
During the 1940s Henry Moore firmly established his reputation on the global stage.   In 1940 Henry and Irina's Hampstead street was bombed, narrowly missing but damaging their studio. Fortunately the couple had been away visiting friends in Hertfordshire and on discovering their damaged home quickly returned to the county. They decided to rent part of a farmhouse in Perry Green near Much Hadham, initially just for the duration of the war. The Moores never left and over the next few years managed to buy the house and subsequently the surrounding land and buildings, providing the artist with a large estate in which he had numerous studios and could display his large-scale sculptures. 
‘’ At Much Hadham we discovered we could lease half of a house called 'Hoglands'. The owner was away at the war and his wife decided to go and live with her mother and offered to sell us Hoglands. I had just been offered £300 by Gordon Onslow-Ford for the big 1939 elmwood 'Reclining Figure' and this happened to be exactly the deposit required on the house. We have lived at Hoglands ever since. ‘’ 
Henry Moore in Henry Spencer Moore, photographed and edited by John Hedgecoe, 
Words by Henry Moore, Nelson 
London: Simon and Schuster, New York 1968  
During the war years in Perry Green Moore joined the local Home Guard, but less than thirty miles north of London he continued to visit the city. He stopped working on sculpture and instead dedicated himself to drawing. He was inspired by the crowds of people huddled in the London Underground during air raids, seeing comparisons between figures sleeping under blankets with his own reclining figures, and the holes of the tunnels with those in his sculptures. In 1941 Moore became an Official War Artist commissioned to create more of these 'shelter drawings.' The work transformed his reputation and the sculptor became known to a much wider audience. The following year he was commissioned by the War Artists' Advisory Committee to create drawings of the coalminers at Wheldale Colliery near Castleford, where his father had worked. After the war Moore returned to sculpture with a commission for a ‘ Madonna and Child ‘ for a church in Northampton. 
'' Perhaps now that the war is completely over, the isolated, cut-off feeling we've all had, particularly here in England, may quickly go. … Though I myself think that I have been particularly lucky throughout the war. Happiest thing of all is that I have been able to go on working all through – although not all the time at exactly what I would have liked – that is I've not been free to give the majority (and proper proportion) of my time to my real work of sculpture. But that's no longer so. 
Henry Moore in Henry J. Seldis, Henry Moore in America, Phaidon, London; Praeger 
New York 1973, p.65  
Moore had not only managed to produce drawings during the war but also staged his 
first retrospective exhibition alongside Graham Sutherland and John Piper at Temple Newsam House in Leeds in 1941. In the same year he was appointed as a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, a position he held intermittently until 1956. In 1943 he held his first solo exhibition in America at the Buchholz Gallery, New York and in 1945 the University of Leeds awarded him the first of many honorary degrees.  
In 1946 the Museum of Modern Art in New York held the first major international retrospective of Moore's work. Moore credited this as having generated the global attention his work recieved in the years which followed. In the same year Henry and Irina's only child, Mary was born. Moore's focus on the mother and child theme in his work, one of his most enduring subjects, received a renewed vigour. 
‘’ Of course an artist uses experiences he's had in life. Such an experience in my life was the birth of my daughter Mary, which re-invoked in my sculpture my Mother and Child theme. A new experience can bring to the surface something deep in one's mind. ‘’ 
Henry Moore in Henry Spencer Moore, photographed and edited by John Hedgecoe, 
words by Henry Moore, Nelson, London: Simon and Schuster, 
New York 1968, p.173 

https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore/biography/a-rise-to-fame








HENRY MOORE 
1948 - 1971: A SYMBOL OF POST-WAR OPTIMISM 
In 1948 Henry Moore travelled to Italy for his one-man show in the British Pavillion at the 24th Venice Biennale, the first since the war. Moore's work was felt to reflect the spirit of the event and he was awarded the International Sculpture Prize.  His sculpture came to represent the optimistic, humanist values embodied in modernism and opposed to Fascism.  ‘’ For the 1948 Venice Biennale – the first one after the war – the British Council decided to have just my sculpture and Turner paintings which was a very sensible thing. But I doubt that one would have won the Biennale sculpture prize that year without the real groundwork and the real impetus that The Museum of Modern Art retrospective provided. Really the foundation where the international side of one’s career is concerned – that international thing happened through The Museum of Modern Art exhibition. ‘’ 
Henry Moore in Henry J. Seldis, Henry Moore in America, Phaidon, London; Praeger 
New York 1973, p.67 
Back at home, in 1951 the Festival of Britain was organised by the Labour government to promote the arts, science and industry and to further encourage optimism after the war. Many contemporary artists were commissioned to make work and Moore was given a prominent position at the centre of the festival on the South Bank of the Thames. Moore had been asked for a family group but instead provided Reclining Figure: Festival, saying “I think this is the first sculpture in which I succeeded in making form and space sculpturally inseparable.” To coincide with the festival, John Read produced a documentary titled Henry Moore for the BBC, making Moore the first ever living artist to be the subject of a film. In the same year Moore had his first retrospective at Tate in London. 
In 1952 Moore was once again represented at the Venice Biennale. On this occasion the British Council presented a new group of emerging sculptors, but installed a work by Moore at the entrance to the pavilion and in doing so positioned him as the forefather of the younger artists. The group became known as the ‘Geometry of Fear’ artists after Herbert Read’s description in the catalogue essay. Their style was defined by welded spiky forms, which were vastly opposed to Moore’s characteristic rounded forms. The Venice display highlighted a desire amongst the younger generation of artists to escape the shadow of Moore and develop a completely new aesthetic.  
Moore’s numerous commissions in the 1950s meant that his work became an icon for post-war Britain. His ‘ Harlow Family Group ‘, 1954-55 and ‘ Family Group ‘, 1948-9 were commissioned for the New Towns of Harlow and Steven age respectively after the Labour Government’s 1946 New Town’s Act. Notable international commissions include the marble ‘ Reclining Figure ‘, 1957-8 for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and  ‘ Nuclear Energy ‘, 1964-6 for the University of Chicago. 

https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore/biography/a-symbol-of-post-waroptimism 






HENRY MOORE 
1972 - 1986: ENSURING A LEGACY 
Throughout Moore's life his career continued to accelerate and international exhibitions became increasingly ambitious. 
In 1972 the largest exhibition of Moore's work to date was staged by the British Council and opened by Princess Margaret in the exquisite setting of the Forte di Belvedere, Florence. 
‘’ No better site for showing sculpture in the open-air, in relationship to architecture, & to a town, could be found anywhere in the world, than the Forte di Belvedere, with its impressive environs & its wonderful panoramic views of the city. – Yet its own powerful grandeur and architectural monumentality make it a frightening competitor for any sculpture – and so I know that showing my work here would be a formidable challenge, but one I should 
accept. ‘’ 
Henry Moore, undated letter to Luciano Bausi, reproduced in Mostra di Henry Moore, Il Bisonte Editore/Nuovedizioni Enrico Vallecchi
Florence 1972, p.17  
The British Council remained unrelenting in the promotion of Moore, who they championed more than any other artist. He said 'the British Council did more for me as an artist than any dealer'. Their support resulted in exhibitions all over the world including Australia, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland. In 1981 they organised the largest ever exhibition of Moore's work, comprised of almost 600 works, which toured to Madrid, Lisbon and Barcelona and attracted over 250,000 visitors. 
Whilst international exhibitions attested to Moore's continuing dominance in the field of contemporary sculpture, he had begun to consider his legacy. In 1967 he had initaited a plan to create the Henry Moore Centre, which finally opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1974. Moore donated 101 sculptures, 57 drawings and 200 prints to Ontario for permanent display in a newly designed gallery.  In 1977 he set up the Henry Moore Foundation to administer the sale and exhibition of his work in perpetuity. 
The following year, in 1978 Moore gave 36 sculptures and a complete set of his graphics to Tate. Moore had promised a gift to the British nation in 1964 but complications over the terms and negative publicity meant that it took years to finalise. Confusion arouse when the gift was announced in 1964 by the then Prime Minister, who concurrently pledged £200,000 for new galleries at Tate. This resulted in the public and a host of other British artists opposing the gift, as they believed it was conditional on being displayed in these new galleries, which they felt should not be reserved for a single artist. The terms were finally agreed in time for Moore's eightieth birthday when the gift was exhibited alongside an exhibition of his drawings. 

In 1982 the Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery and Centre for the Study of Sculpture opened at Leeds City Art Gallery. A few years before his death, Henry and Irina gave the Perry Green estate with its land and studios along with the remaining collection of his work to the Henry Moore Foundation. This allowed the Foundation to continue to promote his work through exhibitions and to offer grants for the support of sculptural commissions, acquisitions and research. 
Moore died at the age of 88 at Perry Green on 31 August 1986 survived by Irina who later died in 1989 and their daughter Mary. 
https://www.henry-moore.org/about-henry-moore/biography/ensuring-a-legacy