Henry Moore: Back to a Land
7 March – 6 September 2015
Free to all
More than 120 works consider the artist’s profound relationship with the land.
As one of Yorkshire Sculpture Park's founding patrons, it is no surprise to learn that Henry Moore was committed to showing his work in the open air. At the time his idea to position sculpture in the landscape was considered radical, yet it had a lasting effect on British art.
The park became one of his favourite places to exhibit – he praised the ever-changing backdrop, which allowed his sculpture to be experienced through different skies, weather and seasons. He also credited the resident flock of sheep, which he found to be exactly the right size and scale to balance his work.
Moore was engaged in a constant investigation of land; his abstract works depict figures, but their shape and texture allude to geological forms. He largely drew on landscapes with personal significance – from the black coal seams of his hometown to his childhood experience of caves.
The exhibition takes its title from a Jacquetta Hawkes’ book which the artist provided illustrations for. His iconic monumental sculptures – such as Large Two Forms and Large Reclining Figure – are shown alongside the original artwork from the Hawkes' publication.
Continuing into the underground gallery, rarely-seen works on paper capture landscapes from the Moore's imagination. Additional context is provided by a series of personal artefacts, notes, sketches and photographs, curated by the artist’s only child Mary Moore.