Sunday, September 6, 2015

Henry Moore: bones that are still alive

Henry Moore (British, 1898–1986)
Working Model for Divided Oval: Butterfly
Bronze, 1967; cast 1982
Collection of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
photography by versluis ©2015

The model for Divided Oval feels like it’s from a sculptor who was also a bone and joint specialist. Dr. Calvin Seerveld has mentioned that, “You sense that Moore means to pare things down to the essential bone, but the bones are still sinewy and alive, not skeletal!”(1)

The following text is from Henry Moore Works in Public:

Moore’s own words, although not specifically relating to the Butterfly, reflect upon the alliance between tension and enigma…

My sculpture has a force, is a strength, is a life, a vitality from inside it, so that you have a sense that the form is pressing from inside trying to burst or trying to give off the strength from inside itself, rather than having something which is just shaped from outside and stopped. It’s as though you have something trying to make itself come to a shape from inside itself…

I think it should not be obvious exactly what a work of art is on the very first view. If it is obvious then, one tends to look at something, recognize it and then turn away, knowing what it is.’
  1. Seerveld, Calvin G. Rainbows for the Fallen World. Toronto: Toronto Tuppence Press, 2005. 231. Print.

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