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HENRY MOORE


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    Sinopse

    Volume 2 in the six-volume catalogue of Henry Moore's drawings records compositions Moore produced in the 1930s, a crucial decade in his career. On New Year's Day 1930 Moore was thirty-one, recently married, living in a flat in London, enjoying a steady income from his post as sculpture tutor at the Royal College of Art and, most important of all, continuing to work on his sculpture and drawings. By the time the decade drew to a close, Britain was at war and Moore, too old to fight a second time for his country, must have regarded his future as an artist with much uncertainty. Even so, what he had achieved in those ten years would probably have ensured his reputation as a sculptor of international importance whatever the subsequent history. Moore always preferred the countryside to the city and in 1931 the Moores bought a tiny cottage at Barfreston in Kent, where he could work in the open air. In the objets trouvés picked up among the gnarled roots and branches around the cottage, or while on holiday on the East Anglia coast, Moore found the inspiration for what he called Transformation drawings. This series, which began as a record of a lobster claw, an animal bone, or pebbles with holes worn through by the sea, became, in Moore's imagination, reclining figures or mothers holding children. Some of these sketches were developed into small carvings. The sculptor also continued to draw from life; in the first five years of the decade his wife Irina posed for several drawings. Moore had a brief and somewhat tentative encounter with the Surrealist movement in the mid-1930s. He was not interested in revolution but in the Surrealist approach to the object, to the notion of mystery and the concept of metamorphosis. Although Moore also experimented with abstract forms, which bear similarities to the flat spatial planes of Ben Nicholson or Piet Mondrian, and created stringed compositions reminiscent of the Constructivist works of Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo, his absorbing interests were the human body and organic form. In this highly inventive era, Moore began using brightly coloured crayons and washes leading to his discovery of the wax-resist method, which he developed to great effect in the Shelter drawings of the 1940s.

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