14 May 1999
Henry Moore (1898-1986)
Maquette for Girl Seated against Square Wall
bronze with brown patina and marble base
Height: 9 in. (24.2 cm.)
Width: 5 in. (13.4 cm.)
Depth: 7.7/8 in. (20 cm.)
Conceived in 1957 and cast at a later date
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J. Hedgecoe and H. Moore, Henry Moore, New York, 1968, p. 306 (another cast illustrated).
ed. A. Bowness, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, London, 1986, vol. 3 (1955-64), no. 424 (another cast illustrated, p. 33).
During the 1950s Moore received commissions for large sculptures to be placed in architectural settings, most importantly Draped Reclining Figure (Bowness, no. 336) for the Time-Life Building in London and the travertine marble Reclining Figure (Bowness, no. 416) for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The problems of relating the figure to its architectural surroundings continued to fascinate the artist and during this time he produced about a dozen sculptures on a smaller scale in which the composition incorporates the figure and architectural backdrop.
In these works the wall is not a neutral or decorative prop but serves to generate much of the psychological atmosphere inherent in the overall composition. Here the flat, square wall with recessed window-like shapes evokes urban surroundings, against which the human figure, as if reshaped and molded by the stresses of this environment, is partly transformed into an abstract being.
This study for a gorgon in the Beethoven Frieze in Vienna may look familiar — a sister work has recently been promoting a Klimt exhibition in London
A work offered in London that shows how the misunderstood visionary brought a vibrant clarity to still life painting