, pub-1971575927446776, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Henry Moore at Tate Britain - Connoisseur Magazine
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Henry Moore at Tate Britain

Henry Moore - Reclining figure-1929
Written by Aksel Ritenis
Henry Moore - Reclining figure-1929An extraordinary display of artworks by one of Britain’s most widely recognised modern artists.
The Henry Moore exhibition at London’s Tate Britain offers not only a tantalising insight into the career of one of Britain’s best known sculptors through his iconic works in stone and bronze executed throughout his prolific career, but also displays a magnificent selection of works on paper, from colliery studies in northern England, to wartime works in the air raid shelters of London during the Blitz – from which Moore became an official war artist.

What is considered by many to have been Moore’s golden era is the period from 1928 up to the end of the Second World War. Even after this exceptional period he was remarkable in being able to produce significant and powerful pieces of sculpture decade after decade.

Henry Moore - tube shleter - perspective liverpool streetThe exhibition curators have chosen well from the vast and dazzling array of over 10,000 of his works available today, selecting pieces commissioned on a smaller scale than many of his more famous subjects, which, being designed for indoor exhibition adapt extremely well to the more compact location here at the Linbury galleries.

As one tours the exhibition one can not fail to see the obvious impact and influence of Japanese Netsuke, pre-Columbian and European Futurism movements on his work. Considering his earlier works, constructed during his younger, more impressionable years, one can see the colossal impact of surrealism, and especially of Picasso, particularly in the many elaborately elongated and multi-perforated representations of the reclining female form

From his wartime experiences during the London Blitz, of particular note is the tremendous and beautifully executed work entitled “Tube Shelter Perspective: The Liverpool Street Extension (1941),” which demonstrates a marvellous use of tonal quality and what one must assume is a deliberate use of light and shadow through the use of pencil, ink and watercolour wash over wax crayon to emphasise the feeling of gloom, isolation and probable despair, apparent in the eyes of the civilian victims of the war.

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Aksel Ritenis

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