Here is the surprising case of Henry Moore, an artist who could uncover dungeons and desert dunes within the cavities of an elephant skull and who could map out invented land formations as if seen from space. These landscapes indicate a shift in Moore’s thinking and approach to both sculpture and drawing. They mark a change from his immediate post-war perception of himself as an artist with an integral role to play in society to that of a more personal and private venture. The exhibition takes as its starting point the late 1950s, when Moore first fragmented the human figure in order to convey a sense of metamorphosis with the land.

Woman 1957-58 (LH 439)and Reclining Figure: Hand 1979 (LH 709) relate the female form to undulating hills, while the multiple-piece compositions that he began in 1959 break the figure down more dramatically into separate monumental masses that resemble rock formations. The transformation of the body into landscape is not restricted to his three-dimensional work. Head of Conrad Verkell (after Dürer) 1979 for example, was begun as a drawing after a Dürer portrait but, in a surreal twist, Moore has Verkell looking down from the sky onto a rocky landscape derived directly from his own craggy features.

Particularly striking throughout the exhibition is the way in which Moore plays with scale. Stone Maze: Project for Hill Monument 1977, a table-top plaster labyrinth inspired by bone forms, was photographed under Moore’s supervision to appear as monumental as Stonehenge, a subject that is also represented in the exhibition. The artist’s fascination with the surface and interior spaces of an elephant skull led to a series of etchings in which its points and hollows became fantastic architecture, mysterious caverns or desert dunes. In drawings, his viewpoint ranges from ant’s eye view, looking up at towering natural features, to a bird’s eye view of imagined worlds.

A number of works on paper from the Foundation’s collection will be on public display for the first time, revealing the variety and depth of Moore’s explorations of the world around him. His interpretations of desert dunes, caverns, icebergs and giant rock formations are dramatic and often unsettling, while atmospheric wooded scenes composed of blots and splashes, or the delicate landscapes inspired by Japanese drawing, reveal a more lyrical side.