A major exhibition of the work of Henry Moore was shown at Dulwich Picture Gallery, uniting significant loans from the Henry Moore Foundation with the entire Moore holdings from the Sainsbury Collection at the University of East Anglia.
Focusing particularly on Henry Moore’s pre-1960s work, the exhibition looked at issues of private patronage and the creative process in this prolific phase of the artist’s long career. The selection of work reveals Moore’s continual development of much-loved themes such as the Mother and Child, the Family Group and the Reclining Figure, as well as other less familiar and more abstract forms. A selection of wartime Shelter and Coalmine drawings will also be on show.
This was the first sculpture exhibition to be shown at the gallery since its refurbishment in 2000 and occupied all the available indoor space at Dulwich, as well as parts of the garden, where four large bronzes were on display. The pieces selected for the exhibition show the breadth and style of Moore’s craftsmanship, ranging from works on paper and tiny ironstone pebble carvings to monumental outdoor bronzes.
Among the sculptures on loan from the Henry Moore Foundation are early carvings such as Dog 1922 (LH 2), Seated Figure 1924 (LH 19) and Mother and Child 1930 (LH 86). One of the artist’s most significant works, Birdbasket 1939 (LH 205), joins other Stringed figures to represent his brief but fascinating experimentation with this form, while larger works include the plaster Warrior with Shield 1953-54 (LH 360) and the imposing abstract bronze, Large Two Forms 1966-69 (LH 556). Drawings include Standing Nude 1924 (HMF 234), Ideas for Sculpture 1931 (HMF 983), Sleeping Shelterer 1940-41 (HMF 1694) and Miners’ Heads 1942 (HMF 1927).
A colour catalogue accompanied the exhibition with essays by Moore’s niece, Ann Garrould, Anita Feldman Bennet, Curator at the Henry Moore Foundation and Ian Dejardin, Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery.