Retrospective on Henry Moore, the British sculptor that died in 1986, at the Giannada foundation, in Martigny (Switzerland). Moore created monumental works, based on themes related to nature, femininity and fertility.
Originally from mining Yorkshire, Henry Moore (1898-1986) saw war twice. In 1917 he was sent to the French front and was in the battle of Cambrai where he was gassed. Yet he carried on and used his war pension to study sculpture at the School of Art in Leeds, then at the Royal College of Art in London in 1921. He moved on from classic sculpture quite quickly in favour of the arts premiers, notably pre-Columbian statuary which his work is strongly influenced by. As was his favourite figure, a stretched out silhouette, derived from the ToltecChac Mool, sacrificial pedestals in the form of a man lying on his elbows with his legs bent. He progressively stylised it to end up with a pierced concave shape.
The influence of the artisticzeitgeist led Moore to be tempted by surrealism for a while. He joined the Unit One Group of Paul Nash in 1933 and participated with him in the organisation of the International Surrealist Exposition in London in 1936. This period of creative imitation was interrupted by the international events of 1939 and Moore became an artist of war. He made powerful drawings of Londoners fleeing the bombing in the underground, which would bring him international renown. Awarded at the Venice Biennial in 1948, Moore began to receive larger and larger public commissions, one of which being a monumental statue for the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris.