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Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION
Henry Moore (1898-1986)

Upright Motive No. 7.

Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Upright Motive No. 7.
signed 'Moore' (on the back of the base)
bronze with green patina
Height (including base): 133 in. (338 cm.)
Conceived in 1955-1956 and cast in an edition of five
Gimpel & Hannover Galerie, Zurich.
Acquired from the above by the parents of the present owners in August 1974.
W. Forma, 5 British Sculptors (Work and Talk): Henry Moore, Reg Butler, Barbara Hepworth, Lynn Chadwick, Kenneth Armitage, New York, 1964 (another cast illustrated pp. 59 & 70).
D. Sylvester, ed., exh. cat., Henry Moore, London, 1968, p. 141 (another cast illustrated pls. 118 & 130, pp. 131 & 144).
R. Melville, Henry Moore, Sculptures and Drawings, 1921-1969, London, 1970, no. 507, p. 233 (another cast illustrated).
D. Mitchinson, ed., Henry Moore Sculpture, with Comments by the Artist, London, 1981, no. 269 (another cast illustrated).
A. Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, vol. 3, 1955-1964, London, 1986, no. 386, p. 22 (another cast illustrated p. 23 & pls. 4 & 5).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Sale room notice
Please note that is this lot should be marked with a LAMBDA symbol in the printed catalogue indicating that this lot is subject to Artist’s Resale Rights (‘Droit de Suite’). Please refer to the back of the catalogue for further information.

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Anna Povejsilova
Anna Povejsilova

Lot Essay

Conceived in 1955-56, Upright Motive No. 7 has a monumental, ethereal presence. The vertical, abstracted structure appears to rise majestically out of the ground, boldly residing over the surrounding area in which it stands. Upright Motive No. 7 is both startlingly modern in its abstract design, as well as being steeped in ancient symbolic meaning, appearing as a relic of an ancient time, rife with deep and varied spiritual connotations. Cast in an edition of five, Upright Motive No. 7 is the last to remain in private hands. The other four casts are housed in museum collections across the world: Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tate Gallery, London and Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.

Upright Motive No. 7 was one of a series begun in 1955. These mysterious, monolithic, upright structures had developed from a number of standing figures that Moore had created at the beginning of the decade. Having been commissioned to create a sculpture for a courtyard of a new building in Milan, Moore was inspired by the soaring, potent verticality of a Lombardy poplar tree that contrasted and complemented the horizontal form of the building beside it. Although Moore never completed this commission, on his return to England, he started to experiment with the possibilities of a vertical sculptural format, creating organically formed, abstract, rather than figurative sculptures.

The abstract format of Upright Motive No. 7 demonstrates Moore’s continued formal inventiveness. The vertical structure and amorphous, curved forms enabled Moore to experiment particularly with texture. The multifaceted protrusions and indentations are in some places smooth and polished, and in others, uneven and rough, illustrating Moore’s unbridled joy in sculpting a pliable mass of form. Moreover, the expressive surface and organic form of Upright Motive No. 7 lend it an enigmatic resonance. Typically the columnar form exudes a sense of strength and solidity. However, the softened, abstract forms of Upright Motive No. 7 suggest it has long presided in nature, organically moulded and softened so appearing timeless; a mysterious relic of an unknown epoch.

The vertical design of Upright Motive No. 7 immediately evokes a wide range of cultural and historical connotations. The form is reminiscent of ancient Roman triumphal columns, Celtic monoliths, as well as North American totem poles; each powerful, resolute symbols of strength or identity. For Moore, the Upright Motives had a decidedly religious invocation; he found that when viewed collectively, they conjured an image of the three crosses of the Crucifixion. Moore explained the development of this association, '…I began a series of maquettes. I started by balancing different forms one above the other – with results rather like the North West American totem poles – but as I continued the attempts gained more unity, also perhaps became more organic – and then one in particular (later to be named Glenkiln Cross) took on the shape of a crucifix… When I came to carry out some of these maquettes in their full final size, three of them grouped themselves together, and in my mind assumed the aspect of a crucifixion scene as though framed against the sky above Golgotha' (Moore, quoted in D. Mitchinson, ed., Henry Moore Sculpture, London & Basingstoke, 1981, p. 134). The three motifs to which Moore refers include Upright Motive No. 7 as well as two earlier works, Upright Motive No. 1 and Upright Motive No. 2, together the three tallest works in the series. Though not explicitly Christian in its meaning, Upright Motive No. 7 has, due to its symbolic connotations, a powerfully spiritual resonance. One of the most boldly abstracted of the series, Upright Motive No. 7 is infused with an enigmatic yet universal presence, boldly illustrating Moore’s artistic diversity and originality.

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