PARIS.- This exhibition of the work of English sculptor Henry Moore (1898 1986), is the first Moore retrospective in Paris for more than 30 years.
In order to recreate the unique atmosphere of Moores studios at Perry Green, England (now home to The Henry Moore Foundation), this autumn the Musée Rodin displays more than 150 sculptures, two outdoor monumental works, around 50 drawings and three sketchbooks, as well as bone fragments, shells, pieces of wood and found objects of all kinds that the artist collected both during his own walks in the countryside, and as gifts from colleagues and friends.
The exhibition follows Moores career from 1930 until the beginning of the 1980s. It includes an exploration of dialogues between sculptor and found object. His early abstract works, especially the reclining figures, reference both the human body and landscape. The asymmetric outlines of human form, and the negative spaces hollowed from the material determine the way the work is viewed in the round. As the art critic Dominique Bozo describes: Transformation, diversion, anthropomorphic readings, the engagement with organic form became the subsequent foundation of his work.
If the beginnings of Moores early sculpture are to be found in his drawings, and on the pages of his sketchbooks, the post-war works are primarily formed in terracotta or plaster, and are small enough to fit into the palm of the hand. These small-scale sculptures which form part of the display, already embody the spirit of their later, enlarged bronze versions.
Moore worked on a series of monumental pieces in the latter part of his career. Two of these, Locking Piece (1963-64) and The Arch (1969) will be on show in the courtyard of the Hotel Biron.
The sculptor also drew prolifically. The exhibition will include several preparatory studies for sculpture, as well as sketches of bones, shells and figures. The famous Shelter Drawings, showing Londoners finding refuge in the Tube tunnels during the Second World War bombing raids, also feature in the exhibition. By showing this collection of sketches and models just as Moore worked with them in his studio, the exhibition throws new light on the sculptors creative process.
This retrospective strengthens the links between Moore and the Musée Rodin which were first established during the international exhibitions staged in the Hotel Biron gardens in 1956. These were further developed by two exhibitions dedicated to his work in 1961 and 1971.