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    Sale 5883

    20th Century British Art including The Olga Davenport Collection

    25 March 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 139

    Ruskin Spear, R.A. (1911-1990)

    Homage to Henry Moore, Reclining Figure: Festival

    Price Realised  


    Ruskin Spear, R.A. (1911-1990)
    Homage to Henry Moore, Reclining Figure: Festival
    signed 'Ruskin Spear' (lower right)
    oil on board
    36½ x 40 in. (92.7 x 101.6 cm.)
    Painted in 1951.

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    The sculpture depicted is Henry Moore's Reclining Figure: Festival which occupied the central location of the 1951 Festival of Britain. It provoked huge controversy: 'Although the Arts Council had asked for a family group representing the theme of discovery, Moore provided a bronze reclining figure for a site opposite the main entrance ... Because Reclining Figure: Festival was seen as an expression of modern art, it was denounced as an artistic outrage by a former president of the Royal Academy but defended by the directors of the National Gallery and the Tate' (see D. Kosinksi (ed.), Henry Moore Sculpting the 20th Century, Dallas, 2001, pp. 278-279).

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    Private collection, Birmingham.


    London, Crane Kalman Gallery, Ruskin Spear Retrospective, March - April 1994, catalogue not traced.