MOTY 2014 Winner

Henry Moore

Three Piece Reclining Figure No. 1, 1961-2

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Draped Seated Woman, 1957-8

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Large Totem Head, 1968

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Country Park
YSP showcases one of the largest display of open-air bronzes by the artist in Europe.

Created between 1955 and 1985, the bronzes represent the peak of the artist’s career when he worked on a monumental scale and particularly for the open air.


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Henry Moore

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Moore often referred to the influence of the West Yorkshire landscape on his development as a young artist and visited YSP in the 1970s, when he expressed a strong interest in siting his work in the Country Park. 

"The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts."

Described as ‘radical, experimental and avant-garde’, Moore was by far one of the leading British artists of his generation. Celebrated and commissioned worldwide, his work introduced Modernism to a wide public and contributed to a seismic shift in sculpture. Moore’s work has been the subject of extensive exhibitions worldwide, from a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1946, to the most recent at Tate Britain in 2010.

Moore was born in the nearby Yorkshire town of Castleford, once an important centre for coal mining and now part of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. YSP was instrumental in The Castleford Project, a culturally-led regeneration initiative begun by Channel 4, including offsite projects by Winter/Hörbelt and Carlos Garaicoa.

Moore often referred to the influence of the West Yorkshire landscape on his development as a young artist and visited YSP in the 1970s, when he expressed a strong interest in siting his work in the Country Park.

The sculptures have been sited carefully within the landscape, taking into consideration form and scale. The undulating hills and distant views of surrounding countryside offer settings to suit the character of individual sculptures and space in which to view them from all angles. The setting is more landscape than parkland, requiring a walk through the countryside to appreciate the full power of each work. The element of surprise is the key and Moore said that sculpture is like a journey, 'providing different views as you return'.

The YSP display is a permanent, yet changing, open-air exhibition in an extraordinary place to learn more about Moore and his legacy. As well as important sculptures by his contemporary Barbara Hepworth, visitors can also experience work by subsequent generations of artists who, whilst keen to distance themselves from his ideas and use of form, struggled to deny that Moore paved the way for more radical artistic expression.

Notable amongst these are Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull whose work, described in the 1950s by the critic Herbert Read as the Geometry of Fear, was a marked departure from Moore’s organic use of form. Similarly, several of Moore’s assistants such as Sir Anthony Caro (whose sculptures Promenade and Dream City are currently on display at YSP), and Phillip King subsequently established their own distinct and different practices, but acknowledge the importance of his influence and disciplined approach.

Sculptures are kindly loaned by the Tate Collection, The Henry Moore Foundation and London Borough of Tower Hamlets and represent a significant body of work by one of the 20th century's most influential sculptors, sited in the region of his childhood.

Changes to the current collection
Works currently featured at YSP: Draped Seated Woman (1957–58), Large Totem Head, (1968), Upright Motive No. 9 (1979), Torso (1967), Large Two Forms (1966-69), Reclining Figure: Arch Leg (1969–70), Two Piece Reclining Figure: Points (1969–70), and Three Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 (1961–2)

Upright Motive No. 1, Glenkiln Cross, No. 2 and No. 7,
 (1955-56) have been a part of the YSP Loan Collection for a number of years. In August 2013 they were de-installed from the Country Park to form part of the major exhibition Francis Bacon / Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone (12 September 2013-19 January 2014) at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Draped Seated Woman (1957-58) remains at YSP on loan from London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Read our statement about the proposed sale of the work.

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I like his sculpture because he makes stuff from blobs to something amazing and beautiful
Isabele on Henry Moore | See all (2) comments
The sculptures are powerful and mysterious, and to stand next to them under the sky is a truly primal experience.
Stephen Ripley on Henry Moore

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