Henry Moore: The Sixties will present a fascinating insight into the sculptor’s life and work during this pivotal decade in his career. In the 1960s, Moore embraced new materials and techniques which enabled him to work on an increasingly monumental scale. He incorporated a greater degree of abstraction in his work and satisfied an enormous global demand for his art, which sometimes generated controversy.
This exhibition, held at his former home in Hertfordshire, will feature rarely seen sculptures, drawings, graphics and a wealth of archive material drawn entirely from the Henry Moore Foundation’s collection to illuminate the innovation of an artist himself in his sixties but at the height of his powers. The exhibition will be the first held at Henry Moore Studios & Gardens to explore a single decade of Moore’s career.
Of the thirty sculptures to be exhibited, highlights include the monumental plaster Large Spindle Piece, 1968, never before exhibited. Over twenty drawings and graphics will reveal Moore’s incredible use of colour, new lithographic printing methods and materials such as felt pens. Archive footage of the construction of Moore’s innovative plastic studio and the installation of some of his monumental bronzes will also feature. The exhibition has been curated by Dr Hannah Higham, with the assistance of Henry Moore’s daughter Mary Moore, and artists that worked alongside Henry Moore.
By 1960, Moore had fully embraced casting in bronze as his primary method for creating sculpture, working with professional foundries such as Noack in Berlin. This process allowed Moore to increase the scale of his work, notably to almost 6m high and over 8m long, for his Reclining Figure for the Lincoln Centre in New York made in 1963-65. Later in the decade, Moore experimented with new materials such as polystyrene and fibreglass, which provided further opportunities to increase the scale and speed of production of sculpture and expanded the scope to site works outdoors.
The 1960s were a particularly creative and inventive phase of Moore’s career in which his generally figurative work of the post-war period gave way to more abstract ideas, many of which explore thinner, sharper, ‘knife-edge’ sculptures, compact and interlocking forms or works with powerful, projecting points. It was often organic forms inspired by nature, that Moore felt suited the greatest enlargement. During this period, he produced over two hundred sculptures. Today, these works are seen as some of the most original and iconic that Moore produced during his career.
As the 1960s progressed, Moore’s fame continued to grow thanks to an ever-expanding list of exhibitions, commissions, publications, awards and honours. In a decade defined by social and cultural change, Moore’s powerful abstract forms, and arguably neutral subject matter, proved popular in Europe and America. As well as producing sculpture to meet this demand, Moore began working on several graphic portfolios, which were eagerly awaited by collectors.
Moore’s celebrity and the proliferation of his sculptures in public settings around the world generated a degree of controversy, especially amongst other artists. Having been recognised as an avant-garde artist during the 1930s, some now saw his sculpture as old-fashioned and a younger generation were concerned his presence cast too great a shadow. The exhibition will feature press coverage from the 1960s revealing the range of reactions to Moore’s work.
Moore’s studios are also open for visitors to explore the creative processes behind his well-known artworks, in addition to the family’s home, which houses Moore’s own art collection and the curiosities that often inspired his sculpture. A programme of events will accompany the exhibition.
Henry Moore: The Sixties
Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Hertfordshire
1st April – 30th October 2022
Henry Moore Studios & Gardens
Perry Green, Much Hadham
Hertfordshire SG10 6EE
T +44 (0)1279 843333
Admission from £16.00.
See also: Sculpture Exhibition Opens Public Art Space in Woking