Henry Moore Essay, Research Paper
Schultz 1 One of the greatest sculptors of the twentieth century was Henry Moore. His work had an impact on every country throughout the world. He was also a remarkable person. His natural seeming works were an inspiration to many artists. Henry Moore was influenced by anything that had to do with nature, this included the human form and the environment. Most of Moore s sculptures were carved from either stone or wood. On some instances he also used bronze. All of the examples I am using are done in bronze. Each piece has a natural look to it even though it is immense in size. The location of each piece in a natural environment helps to express this idea. In 1934, Moore started to explore space in his sculptures. His sculptures started looking more linear and square, as seen in Large Figure in a Shelter , and Sheep Piece. These two pieces are very cubistic, especially Large Figure in a Shelter. The form seems to be a cast molded from the surrounding shelter . The way the sun hits the material used gives more energy to the work. The sunlight also gives the sculpture great depth, the figure inside looks like an individual piece and yet still part of this form at the same time. The environment around the sculpture is fitting, the Schultz 2dark evergreens give a nice backdrop to the bright bronze. The piece seems to jump out even more with potential energy. Moore tries to define nature in all of his work, especially landscapes. In the work titled Sheep Piece, Moore emphasizes his love of nature in the location he put this work in. It is in a sheep meadow. The form almost takes on the form of a sheep yet keeps the soft metallic look of bronze. The figure appears to be a giant sheep grazing with his smaller brethren. It is a very unique idea to put sculpture of a sheep with sheep, most artists wouldn t think to do something like that. In his reclining figures he tries to explore the energy and power of the mountains, cliffs and caves. Even his drawings represent landscape. When he draws a seated figure, he makes the upper body shoot up like a mountain and lose its peak in the cloudy sky. Moore s reclining figures prop themselves up and are potentially active. Most of them were inspired by cultural beliefs, such as the Mexican rain-god, Chacmool. This inspiration is seen throughout the faces. Henry Moore s reclining figures are larger than life-size, once again resembling the quality of mountains. Other important sculptures by Henry Moore are his Mother and Child
Schultz 3pieces. Many of these pieces were commissioned by someone else. He made many of them for churches. They represent a mother and her love for her child and are very similar to the reclining figures because of their looks and their inspiration background. An example of this is Reclining Mother and Child . In this sculpture there is hardly a separation between the mother and the child. They seem to be merged as one piece. This may represent the love and closeness theme he intended in his madonna-esque works. I like this piece because it shows how mothers and their children are attached, from pregnancy on. They are the same blood and one is a part of the other. For some reason the only emotion I can get out of these sculptures of his is contentment, there doesn t seem to be any anger or revulsion involved in his work. Perhaps this is because his works are based on natural things, and humans are the only proven natural things to suffer these emotions. Some of these works remind me of the outdoor project we did in class. Even though our efforts were in the semblance of other artists, I think that maybe these artists had some inspiration from Henry Moore s Schultz 4work. His works are natural even though they are not organic in material, they take on an organic feel because of the shape and location of these pieces. To me, Henry Moore was a sculptor that understood life and its beauty. He appreciated the things that surrounded him and showed that appreciation in all of his work. This is what impresses and inspires me most. It s hard to believe that a person, like Moore, can take such great advantage of nature in a seemingly accidental way.
Berthoud, Roger. The Life of Henry Moore. New York, NY : E.P. Dutton, 1987 : 19, 415-416.Read, Herbert. Henry Moore. New York, NY : Frederick A. Praeger, 1966 : 11.Sylvester, David. Henry Moore. New York, NY : Frederick A. Praeger,1968: 1-33.