1966 by Henry Moore
Henry Moore Foundation
By 1966 Moore had well and truly established his ‘reclining figure’ with his later style – slightly looser and more free than his early sculptures. Though these later figures were more abstract, they never lost Moore’s fluid lines, holding the body and characteristic large limbs together as one complete entity. It is interesting then to look at this image from a sketchbook showing such a contrasting medium and one that takes its lines in different colours. From one block of stone, one smooth and continuous material, here Moore gives us composition in varied colour and disjointed style through both felt pen and tissue paper. He casts his design in squiggles and dashes of lines; short and reactive surrounding the figure, more fluid and curving in the articulation of the body. Moore’s ‘figure’ is more than recognisable in intense blue, reinforced and echoed in yellow, yet the composition possesses a disjointedness that his sculpture cannot display. The image articulates the immediacy of idea, the speed of thought and the bouts of energy that surround the main object of focus. It is interesting to compare this explorative experimentation of Moore’s unmistakable style to the sculptures that possess these lines yet form such a smooth and unbroken surface. Interesting too that on paper Moore’s work looks almost calligraphy-like – a series of Chinese characters – Modernist style that would adhere to none other than Ezra Pound and his obsession for the expressive nature of Chinese writing. Moore, a Modernist indeed.