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Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Property from The Museum of Modern Art, sold to benefit the Acquisitions Fund
Henry Moore (1898-1986)

Seated Woman: Thin Neck

Details
Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Seated Woman: Thin Neck
signed 'Moore' (lower right)
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 64½ in. (164 cm.)
Conceived in 1961 and cast in the artist's lifetime
Provenance
Nina and Gordon Bunshaft, New York.
Gift from the above to the present owner, 1994.
Literature
R. Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, p. 363, nos. 631-632 (another cast illustrated).
D. Mitchinson, ed., Henry Moore Sculpture with Comments by the Artist, London, 1981, p. 313, no. 341 (another cast illustrated, p. 159).
A.G. Wilkinson, Henry Moore Remembered, The Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Toronto, 1987, p. 196, no. 148 (another cast illustrated).
A. Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture 1955-1964, London, 1986, vol. III, p. 46, no. 472 (another cast illustrated, p. 47; another cast illustrated again, pls. 106-107).
Exhibited
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Selections from the Bequest of Nina and Gordon Bunshaft, August-October 1995.

Lot Essay

*This lot may be exempt from sales tax as set forth in the Sales Tax Notice in the back of the catalogue.


In speaking about his sculptural ideas and the influence and incorporation of bones, Henry Moore wrote:

One of the things I would like to think my sculpture has is a force, is a strength, is a life, a vitality from inside it, so that you have a sense that the form is pressing from inside trying to burst or trying to give off the strength from inside itself, rather than having something which is just shaped from outside and stopped. It's as though you have something trying to make itself come to a shape from inside itself. This is perhaps, what makes me interested in bones as much as the flesh because the bone is the inner structure of all living form (quoted in D. Mitchinson, op. cit, p. 130).

Henry Moore's use of bones as the basis for his sculpture reached a climax in the early 1960s. He spoke about the centrality of bones in the present sculpture:

There are many structural and sculptural principles to be learnt from bones, e.g. that in spite of their lightness they have great strength. Some bones, such as the breast bones of birds, have the lightweight finess of a knife-edge. Finding such a bone led to my using this knife-edge thinness in 1961 in a sculpture Seated Woman: Thin Neck. In this figure the thin neck and head by contrast with the width and bulk of the body, gives more monumentality to the work (quoted in R. Melville, op. cit., pp. 261-262).

There are four other casts in the following public collections: Tate Gallery, London; Toyota Museum of Municipal Art, Japan; Des Moines Arts Centre, Iowa and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.
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