HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)
HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)
HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)
HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW JERSEY
HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)

Seated Woman: Thin Neck

Details
HENRY MOORE (1898-1986)
Seated Woman: Thin Neck
signed and numbered ‘Moore 6/7’ (on the left hip)
bronze with dark brown patina
Height: 64 1/2 in. (163.8 cm.)
Conceived in 1961; cast in bronze in 1964 in a numbered edition of seven plus one
Provenance
Nina & Gordon Bunshaft, New York, by 1965.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York (no. 642.94), a gift from the above in 1994; sale, Christie’s, New York, 1 November 2005, lot 64.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
H. Read, Henry Moore, A study of his life and work, London, 1965, no. 233, pp. 243 & 280 (another cast illustrated p. 243; with incorrect edition size).
R. Melville, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, nos. 631-632, p. 363 (another cast illustrated; with incorrect edition size).
S. Spender, ed., Henry Moore: Sculptures in Landscape, New York, 1978, no. 30, p. 119 (illustrated in situ pl. 30; with incorrect edition size).
E. Teague, Henry Moore: Bibliography and Reproductions Index, North Carolina, 1981, p. 148.
D. Mitchinson, ed., Henry Moore Sculpture, with Comments by the Artist, London, 1981, p. 313, no. 341 (another cast illustrated, p. 159; with incorrect edition size).
A. Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Sculpture and drawings, vol. III, Sculpture 1955-64, London, 2005, no. 472, p. 46 (another cast illustrated p. 47; another cast illustrated again pls. 106 & 107; with incorrect edition size).
Exhibited
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Selections from the Nina and Gordon Bunshaft Bequest, August - October 1995 (incorrectly numbered '6/9').
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. Please note that at our discretion some lots may be moved immediately after the sale to our storage facility at Momart Logistics Warehouse: Units 9-12, E10 Enterprise Park, Argall Way, Leyton, London E10 7DQ. At King Street lots are available for collection on any weekday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Collection from Momart is strictly by appointment only. We advise that you inform the sale administrator at least 48 hours in advance of collection so that they can arrange with Momart. However, if you need to contact Momart directly: Tel: +44 (0)20 7426 3000 email: pcandauctionteam@momart.co.uk. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice. Christie's has provided a minimum price guarantee and has a direct financial interest in this lot. Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold. See the Important Notices in the Conditions of Sale for more information.

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Michelle McMullan
Michelle McMullan Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Created in 1961, Seated Woman: Thin Neck is a vivid illustration of the spirit of invention and evolution with which Henry Moore continued to approach the human figure throughout his long career. The concept for the sculpture appears to have originated in a small plaster maquette the artist created in 1960, which had its beginnings in the natural world: Pressing a piece of bone or stone into clay, Moore then poured plaster into the depression, generating the organic curves that would become the basis for the figure’s torso. The artist’s studio was filled with a vast array of organic material, with rows of fossils and flint, fragments of driftwood and animal bones filling the cabinets that lined the walls of his workspace. Each piece was kept by Moore as a result of the visual intrigue he detected in its form and his fascination with the ways in which the material had been moulded and shaped, either by the elements or evolution.
As Moore explained, these objects had a profound impact on the forms that emerged in his sculptures and his approach to the human figure, particularly in relation to Seated Woman: Thin Neck: ‘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 finesse 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’ (H. Moore quoted in R. Melville, Henry Moore, Sculptures and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, pp. 261-262). Revelling in the natural textures of the organic material that had sparked his initial idea, Moore deliberately left the contours, edges and surface of Seated Woman: Thin Neck rough and unpolished, creating the impression that it has been directly hewn from a massive piece of stone. This, combined with the fragmented, partial depiction of the body, in which the woman’s limbs appear to be missing, creates an allusion to the monuments of antiquity.
During the Summer of 1963, a cast of Seated Woman: Thin Neck featured in an exhibition held at Marlborough Fine Art in London. Writing in the Observer, the critic Nigel Gosling described the expressive, internal energy of the sculptural form, calling the work ‘a perfectly finished piece… Her back is a shield, her head an axe, her lap is a blow-hole in the rock. She twists and yet sits firm; she has no explicit breasts or arms or legs but makes you feel they are somewhere around’ (‘Vision and Nightmare: Art,’ Observer, 14 July 1963, p. 27). Indeed, while the massive, rounded volumes of the woman’s body continued Moore’s explorations of the monumentality of the feminine form, and its echoes in the natural world, it is the slender proportions of her almost razor-thin neck that represents the biggest shift in the artist’s thinking at this time. Playing with the contrasting profiles of different elements of the body, Moore thins his subject’s neck down to a slender, sharp edged line that appears increasingly dramatic as the viewer moves around the sculpture. This concept would continue to inspire Moore over the ensuing years, resulting in his monumental work Standing Figure: Knife Edge.

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