Moore is Less

Still no camera, so it looks like I’ll have to buy a new one.
Meanwhile, while sculpting the alabaster piece I set aside the hand tools and pulled out the old flexible shaft tool for some detail work. The flex shaft snapped (a $75 part that arrived today- the wrong part, the right part is $12, or what I hope is the right part..) when the bit dragged up the padding under the stone, reminding me of why I had always used the tight little carpet pad that is in a box somewhere. Dumb mistakes are always the most expensive. I ordered the part and hopefully can get back to work on the stone soon enough.
While we wait, lets look at some Henry Moore sculpture, where “less Is more (Moore)”!

This massive Moore is tucked under the entrance of I.M. Pei’s East Wing Art Building in DC. Let’s walk around the piece…

You may have noted that this work is comprised of two forms that nestle together, with truncated sections alluding to this being part of a more complex structure. That structure is often the human figure, with multiple forms derived from the singular form of the figure. At this scale and level of abstraction it is helpful to have seen other Moore pieces that are not quite so far removed. Let’s check one out…

This form is derived from a reclining female figure with her R arm up and elbow bent and hand behind her head, and her L arm wrapping below her upraised arm. Her torso bisects from her legs at the hips, creating two separate forms that read as one. You can see then, how this relates to the two large forms in DC, although that shape relationship is much more complex and animistic, as their origin is unclear- and this form is obviously a human figure.



Compare Moore’s direction to that of Rodin (in previous post of Sept) and we have an encapsulation of 20th Century Modernism, wherein Formal concerns of Abstraction grow logically from expressive Realism. The concept of Mastery still includes an undeniable skill base in media and form, and the exploration of the Master is still entirely engaging and undeniable- and with a paradigm shift that incorporates the prior era, allowing an idea of art progressing in an Historical Sequence. This was before the “end of art”, and Moore was one of the last great sculptors within that dialog- the “end of art” being the idea that Contemporary work is unmoored from the historical discussion of Form/Media/Conception that artists have engaged with throughout Western culture…but that issue is a bit off-topic.
There are plenty more Moore images I need to upload, and quite a few on the grounds of
the Nelson Atkins that I have yet to photograph- I’ll have more on
Moore soon enough.


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