Henry Moore: Journey through form
Exhibition now closed 23 Feb – 4 Jun 2002
‘Sculpture is like a journey. You have a different view as you return. The three-dimensional world is full of surprises in a way that a two-dimensional world could never be.’ Henry Moore, 1962.
Henry Moore, the great British sculptor who died in 1986 aged 88, is one of the founding figures of modernist art. Once, storms of controversy raged around his large sculptures. These days, they are found in many major cities of the world. Developed in partnership with the Henry Moore Foundation, this exhibition of fifteen of Moore’s monumental bronze sculptures is exclusive to Te Papa.
Moore’s art relates to the urban plazas and galleries of modern cities, and also to the English landscapes where some of his very large sculptures are found. The huge works grow from small objects such as bones and stones that he collected and cherished, meditating on their endless combinations of shapes and relationships.
Especially important to Moore was the human body, of which he said, ‘I can always discover new thoughts and ideas based on the human figure.’ Related to this form are works that combine references to helmets, gas-masks, warfare, the interiors of the human body, and the shelters of architecture. A central work in Henry Moore: journey through form is the ‘Figure in a Shelter’ of 1983 – many Wellingtonians will know the sculpture by Moore in the Botanic Gardens, which is the internal figure of this work without its ‘shelter’.