Art@Site www.artatsite.com Henry Moore Figure Couchee, Reclining Figure
Artist:

Henry Moore

Title:

Figure Couchee, Reclining Figure

Year:
1951
Adress:
Jardin des Tuileries
Website:
What more is there to say about a human?
What can I say about an artwork by Henry Moore; one of the most internationally renowned and well documented sculptors? This while I limit myself in my essays. In my essays the focus is at the artwork (in the vicinity), trying not to use knowledge about the backgrounds.
I see a face with abstracted ‘eyes on stalks’ and a gradual transition to the shoulders and arms. The woman looks at us straight in the eye. Her head, breasts and arms are relatively small and are attractive. There is something strange with her breasts; they seem to be on the wrong place. Her thighs are firm and line powerful up to her lower legs.
The details on the body have an entirely different character; these are geometrically without a image. They make the limbs more abstract.
Her belly is not filled but opened. Would this woman desire a child, to be mother? On the place of her chest is a bony shape. This confronts me with her skeleton and bones. The human is suddenly brought back to matter.
Henry Moore's Reclining Figure shows many properties of a woman. She is a beautiful woman with an elegant posture. She is bright and makes personally contact. She understands that she can analyze himself. She is modern and understands that her body, soul and spirit are sometimes not in line with each other. And maybe this person has a personal grief.
What more can a sculpture say more about a human?
By Theo, www.artatsite.com

Wat valt er nog meer te zeggen over een mens?
Wat valt er nog te zeggen over een kunstwerk van Henry Moore; één van de meest internationaal vermaarde en goed gedocumenteerde beeldhouwers? Dit terwijl ik mij beperk in mijn essays. Want ik leg de focus op het werk (in de omgeving), en probeer kennis over achtergronden buiten beschouwing te laten.
Ik zie een geabstraheerd gezicht met ‘ogen op steeltjes’ en een geleidelijke overgang naar de schouders en armen. De vrouw kijkt ons recht in de ogen. Haar hoofd, borsten en armen zijn relatief klein en zijn aantrekkelijk. Met haar borsten is iets vreemds aan de hand; deze lijken op de verkeerde plaats te zitten. Haar bovenbenen zijn stevig en vormen een krachtige lijn tot aan haar onderbenen. De details op het lichaam hebben een geheel ander karakter; deze zijn geometrisch zonder een voorstelling. Zij maken dat de ledematen abstracter worden.
Haar buik is niet gevuld maar geopend. Zou deze vrouw een kind verlangen, moeder willen zijn? Op de plaats van haar borst bevindt zich een knokige vorm. Dit confronteert mij met haar geraamte en botten. De mens wordt ineens terug gebracht tot materie.
Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure laat veel eigenschappen zien van een vrouw. Zij is een mooie vrouw met een elegante houding. Ze is schrander en maakt persoonlijk contact. Ze is modern en snapt dat ze zichzelf kan analyseren; dat haar lichaam, ziel en geest soms iets anders willen. En misschien heeft deze mens een persoonlijk verdriet.
Wat kan een beeldhouwwerk nog meer zeggen over een mens?
By Theo, www.artatsite.com

www.wikipedia.org:
Reclining Figure est une oeuvre du sculpteur britannique Henry Moore situee a Paris, en France. Creee en 1951 et installee en 2000 dans les jardins des Tuileries, il s'agit d'une sculpture en bronze.
L'oeuvre prend la forme d'un sculpture de bronze dore representant un nu feminin couche.
L'oeuvre mesure 1,10 m de haut pour une longueur de 2,25 m et une largeur de 0,65 m1.
L'oeuvre est installee dans les jardins des Tuileries en 2000, en meme temps qu'une douzaine d'autres oeuvres d'art contemporain ; elle remplace une oeuvre d'Aristide Maillol, l'Hommage a Cezanne, deplacee dans une autre partie du jardin.

Translation
www.wikipedia.org:
Reclining Figure is a work of British sculptor Henry Moore located in Paris, France. Established in 1951 and installed in 2000 in the Tuileries gardens, it is a bronze sculpture.
The work takes the form of a sculpture representing a gilded bronze female nude lying.
The work measures 1.10 m high with a length of 2.25 m and a width of 0.65 m1.
The work is installed in the Tuileries gardens in 2000, along with a dozen other works of contemporary art; it replaces a work of Aristide Maillol, the Homage to Cezanne, moved to another part of the garden.

www.wikipedia.org:
Apres la guerre et apres plusieurs fausses couches anterieures, Irina a donne naissance a leur fille, Mary Moore en Mars 1946. L'enfant a ete nomme d'apres la mere de Moore, qui etait mort deux ans plus tot. Tant la perte de sa mere et l'arrivee d'un bebe porte l'esprit de Moore sur la famille, dont il a exprime dans son travail par la production de nombreuses compositions"mere-enfant", bien couche et chiffres internes / externes egalement reste populaire. Dans la meme annee, Moore a fait sa premiere visite en Amerique quand une exposition retrospective de son oeuvre est ouverte au Musee d'Art Moderne de New York. De la fin des annees 1930 Kenneth Clark est devenu un champion peu probable, mais influent, de l'oeuvre de Moore, et par sa position en tant que membre du Conseil des arts de Grande-Bretagne il a obtenu des expositions et des commissions pour l'artiste.
Avant la guerre, Moore avait ete approche par l'educateur Henry Morris, qui tentait de reformer l'education avec son concept du College Village. Morris avait engage Walter Gropius comme l'architecte pour son deuxieme college de village a Impington pres de Cambridge, et il voulait Moore pour concevoir une sculpture publique majeur pour le site. Le conseil de comte, cependant, ne pouvait se permettre la conception complet de Gropius, et revu a la baisse le projet lorsque Gropius a emigre en Amerique. Manquant de fonds, Morris a dû annuler la sculpture de Moore, qui n'a pas depasse le stade de la maquette. Moore etait en mesure de reutiliser la conception en 1950 pour une commission similaire exterieur d'une ecole secondaire pour la nouvelle ville de Stevenage. Cette fois, le projet a ete acheve et le groupe de la famille est devenu le premier bronze publique a grande echelle de Moore.
Dans les annees 1950, Moore a commence a recevoir des commissions de plus en plus importants, y compris une figure couchee pour le bâtiment de l'UNESCO a Paris en 1958. Avec de nombreuses oeuvres plus d'art public, l'echelle des sculptures de Moore a augmente de maniere significative et il a commence a employer un nombre croissant d'assistants de travailler avec lui a Much Hadham, y compris Anthony Caro et Richard Wentworth.

Translation
www.wikipedia.org:
After the war and after several false anterior layers, Irina gave birth to their daughter, Mary Moore in March 1946. The child was named after Moore's mother, who had died two years earlier. Both the loss of her mother and the arrival of a baby brings the spirit of Moore on the family, which he expresses in his work by producing many compositions"mother-child" well layer and internal / external figures also remains popular. In the same year, Moore made his first visit to America when a retrospective exhibition of his work opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. From the late 1930s Kenneth Clark became an unlikely champion, but influential, of the work of Moore, and his position as a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain he received exhibitions and commissions the artist.
Before the war, Moore had been approach by the educator Henry Morris, who was trying to reform the education with its concept of College Village. Morris had committed Walter Gropius as the architect for his second village college has Impington near Cambridge and he wanted Moore to design a major public sculpture for the site. The county council, however, could not afford the full design of Gropius, and has revised downwards the project when Gropius emigrated to America. Lacking funds, Morris had to cancel Moore's sculpture, which does not exceed the stage of the model. Moore was able to reuse the design in 1950 for a similar commission outside a secondary school for the new town of Stevenage. This time the project was completed and Family Group became the first large scale public bronze Moore.
In the 1950s, Moore began to receive increasingly significant commissions, including a figure couchee for the UNESCO building in Paris in 1958. With many more works of public art, the scale sculptures Moore has significantly increases manner and began to employ a growing number of assistants working with him a Much Hadham, including Anthony Caro and Richard Wentworth.

www.henry-moore.org:
This Reclining Figure was commissioned by the Arts Council for the Festival of Britain in 1951. But I knew that the South Bank would only be its temporary home, so I didn’t worry about where it was to be placed. If I had studied a Festival site too carefully, the figure might never have been at home anywhere else. As it was, I made the figure, then found the best position I could. I was simply concerned with making a sculpture in the round. And it was out in the open most of the time I was working on it.
Henry Moore quoted in Sculpture in the Open Air: A Talk by Henry Moore on his Sculpture and its Placing in Open-Air Sites, edited by Robert Melville and recorded by the British Council 1955: typescript, copy in HMF library.

www.wikipedia.org:
Introduction
Henry Spencer Moore (30 July 1898 – 31 August 1986) was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art.
His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures. Moore's works are usually suggestive of the female body, apart from a phase in the 1950s when he sculpted family groups. His forms are generally pierced or contain hollow spaces. Many interpreters liken the undulating form of his reclining figures to the landscape and hills of his birthplace, Yorkshire.
His style
The aftermath of World War II, The Holocaust, and the age of the atomic bomb instilled in the sculpture of the mid-1940s a sense that art should return to its pre-cultural and pre-rational origins. In the literature of the day, writers such as Jean-Paul Sartre advocated a similar reductive philosophy. At an introductory speech in New York City for an exhibition of one of the finest modernist sculptors, Alberto Giacometti, Sartre spoke of"The beginning and the end of history". Moore's sense of England emerging undefeated from siege led to his focus on pieces characterised by endurance and continuity.
Moore's signature form is a reclining figure. Moore's exploration of this form, under the influence of the Toltec-Mayan figure he had seen at the Louvre, was to lead him to increasing abstraction as he turned his thoughts towards experimentation with the elements of design. Moore's earlier reclining figures deal principally with mass, while his later ones contrast the solid elements of the sculpture with the space, not only round them but generally through them as he pierced the forms with openings.
Earlier figures are pierced in a conventional manner, in which bent limbs separate from and rejoin the body. The later, more abstract figures are often penetrated by spaces directly through the body, by which means Moore explores and alternates concave and convex shapes. These more extreme piercings developed in parallel with Barbara Hepworth's sculptures. Hepworth first pierced a torso after misreading a review of one of Henry Moore's early shows. The plaster Reclining Figure: Festival (1951) in the Tate, is characteristic of Moore's later sculptures: an abstract female figure intercut with voids. As with much of the post-War work, there are several bronze casts of this sculpture. When Moore's niece asked why his sculptures had such simple titles, he replied,
"All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she looks but they don't really, you know."
Moore's early work is focused on direct carving, in which the form of the sculpture evolves as the artist repeatedly whittles away at the block. In the 1930s, Moore's transition into modernism paralleled that of Barbara Hepworth; the two exchanged new ideas with each other and several other artists then living in Hampstead. Moore made many preparatory sketches and drawings for each sculpture. Most of these sketchbooks have survived and provide insight into Moore's development. He placed great importance on drawing; in old age, when he had arthritis, he continued to draw.
His work
After the Second World War, Moore's bronzes took on their larger scale, which was particularly suited for public art commissions. As a matter of practicality, he largely abandoned direct carving, and took on several assistants to help produce the larger forms based on maquettes. By the end of the 1940s, he produced sculptures increasingly by modelling, working out the shape in clay or plaster before casting the final work in bronze using the lost wax technique. These maquettes often began as small forms shaped by Moore's hands—a process which gives his work an organic feeling. They are from the body. At his home in Much Hadham, Moore built up a collection of natural objects; skulls, driftwood, pebbles, rocks and shells, which he would use to provide inspiration for organic forms. For his largest works, he usually produced a half-scale, working model before scaling up for the final moulding and casting at a bronze foundry. Moore often refined the final full plaster shape and added surface marks before casting.
Moore produced at least three significant examples of architectural sculpture during his career. In 1928, despite his own self-described"extreme reservations", he accepted his first public commission for West Wind for the London Underground Building at 55 Broadway in London, joining the company of Jacob Epstein and Eric Gill. In 1953, he completed a four-part concrete screen for the Time-Life Building in New Bond Street, London, and in 1955 Moore turned to his first and only work in carved brick, "Wall Relief" at the Bouwcentrum in Rotterdam. The brick relief was sculpted with 16,000 bricks by two Dutch bricklayers under Moore's supervision.
His life
Moore was born in Castleford, the son of a coal miner. He became well-known through his carved marble and larger-scale abstract cast bronze sculptures, and was instrumental in introducing a particular form of modernism to the United Kingdom. His ability in later life to fulfill large-scale commissions made him exceptionally wealthy. Despite this, he lived frugally; most of the money he earned went towards endowing the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and promotion of the arts.
After the war and following several earlier miscarriages, Irina gave birth to their daughter, Mary Moore, in March 1946. The child was named after Moore's mother, who had died two years earlier. Both the loss of his mother and the arrival of a baby focused Moore's mind on the family, which he expressed in his work by producing many"mother-and-child" compositions, although reclining and internal/external figures also remained popular.
In the 1950s, Moore began to receive increasingly significant commissions, including a reclining figure[24] for the UNESCO building in Paris in 1958. With many more public works of art, the scale of Moore's sculptures grew significantly and he started to employ an increasing number of assistants to work with him at Much Hadham, including Anthony Caro and Richard Wentworth.
Moore told a friend about his work Nuclear Energy. He once told a friend that he hoped viewers would"go around it, looking out through the open spaces, and that they may have a feeling of being in a cathedral."
The surroundings of the work is important for Moore: “When I was offered the site near the House of Lords ... I liked the place so much that I didn't bother to go and see an alternative site in Hyde Park—one lonely sculpture can be lost in a large park. The House of Lords site is quite different. It is next to a path where people walk and it has a few seats where they can sit and contemplate it."
The Moore Foundation was established to encourage the public appreciation of the visual arts and especially the works of Moore. It now runs his house and estate at Perry Green, with a gallery, sculpture park and studios.