Other examples from this edition are in the collections of:
The Henry Moore Foundation
Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, Japan
Leeds City Art Gallery
‘From the very beginning the reclining figure has been my main theme’ Henry Moore, 1968.
During the late 1930s, Moore’s work veered away from the representational images of the reclining figure and began to incorporate the stringed element for the first time in twentieth century sculpture.
Between 1937 and 1939, Moore associated closely with Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo and Piet Mondrian. Reclining Stringed Figure, 1939, is one of the few works from this critical period, initially created in soft materials and cast in bronze in 1981/2.
In its horizontal position, it is a reclining female figure, her physiological characteristics reduced to mounds and ridges. A sensuous contrast is created between the solid, shining, curvaceous form and the taut and translucent sets of wires cutting through both the bronze ridges and the air between them.
Moore’s stringed figures were included in many seminal exhibitions of Moore’s works. David Sylvester noted that the interaction of strings created movement that alerts the viewer to a closer consideration of mass and space: ‘a counterpoint of movement bringing to life the space around and within which the strings operate’.
The works of both Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth from the 1930s show the impact of Alberto Giacometti’s early Surrealist works, with Will Grohmann writing that Moore’s stringed figures were spiritually charged, and shared the same ‘spectral existence’ as Giacometti’s sculptures.
Alex Rosenberg Gallery, New York, 1984, where acquired by Private Collection, U.S.A.
The Estate of E. Franklin Robbins, U.S.A.
Private Collection, Australia