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Reclining Figure: Arch Leg

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Reclining Figure: Arch Leg

Henry Spencer Moore, O.M., British, (July 30, 1898–August 31, 1986)

Creation date: 1969
Creation place: United Kingdom

Other Information

Type: Bronze Sculpture
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge
Accession Number: 1971.2
Dimensions: 98 1/2 in. x 183 1/2 in. x 81 in. (250.19 cm x 466.09 cm x 205.74 cm)
Currently on view

Provenance

Henry Spencer Moore, England ( - 1971)

Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge, La Jolla, California (1971 - 1971)

Label Copy

The Fine Art Gallery of San Diego
May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden brochure, c. 1975
"A grandeur of gesture and scale that for me is what great sculpture is, tremendous monumentality and oversize vision. It is monumentality which sculpture should have rather that details." These ideas expressed by England's leading sculptor give meaning to the work in San Diego. Despite its modernism, the artist remains in the tradition of sculptors of past history by stressing the human figure as the noblest art form. The title provides a clue to subject matter even though the concept is treated in a modern idiom.

San Diego Museum of Art
May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden brochure, c. 1978
"A grandeur of gesture and scale that for me is what great sculpture is, tremendous monumentality and oversize vision. It is monumentality which sculpture should have rather that details." These ideas expressed by England's leading sculptor give meaning to the work in San Diego. Despite its modernism, the artist remains in the tradition of sculptors of past history by stressing the human figure as the noblest art form. The title provides a clue to subject matter even though the concept is treated in a modern idiom.

December 2004
Human Presence: Works from the Museum's Collection
Henry Moore
Henry Moore is one of the most celebrated Modernist sculptors of his time. In the critical period of reconstruction and growth after World War II, his reputation was built on monumental public art commissions made for state and private patrons all over the world. Moore's iconic, abstracted figurative sculpture exemplified, and to a large degree fueled, the transformation of the once radical language of Modernist sculpture into the unofficial style of the establishment. Interested in the human form from the time he began attending the Leeds School of Art (1918), and later the Royal College of Art in London (1921), Moore soon found himself at odds with the tradition of Western naturalist sculpture descended from the Renaissance, which focused on dazzling technique and narrative over form. Rejecting the Victorian sculptural tradition in which he was trained, Moore was influenced early on by the Hungarian Modernist sculptor Constantine Brancusi (1876-1957), who had led the way at the turn of the 20th century towards a search for abstract, “pure” forms freed from the necessity of naturalistic representation. Hesitant to embrace complete abstraction, Moore found in primitive and archaic sculpture a way to rethink the power of simplified three dimensional form and to reshape and reconfigure the body without losing its recognizable anatomical order. In such Pre-Columbian statuary as the Chac-Mol, he saw a way to connect the reclining figure to the rounded forms of the natural landscape and to draw attention to the materiality of sculpture and the space it occupies.
Although the standing and seated figure were frequent themes, Moore's enduring preoccupation lay in the reclining figure which he saw as offering the widest compositional and spatial possibilities. He preferred open natural landscape as a setting to his work over enclosed gallery space, and drew analogies between the curves of mountain, plain and valley, and the human form. Reclining Figure: Arch Leg (1969) rests on a horizontal plane that follows the contours of the land and appears to emerge out of the landscape which houses it. This bronze sculpture structures human form around a void of space that invites landscape into the body and liberates legs and torso from the whole, leaving these volumes free to revert back and forth from abstracted forms reminiscent of bones and rocks to a representational icon of heroicized femininity.
Last Updated: 4/14/2020

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego: May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden , 1/1/1975 - 00/00/00

San Diego Museum of Art: May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden , 1/1/1978 - 00/00/00

The Walbridge Legacy The San Diego Museum of Art , 4/9/1988 - 5/29/1988

May S. Marcy Sculpture Court & Garden , 8/2/2012 - 00/00/00

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Ms. Mary Stofflet. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 178, 200, 201, Figure Number: 201

The Walbridge Legacy San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1988
Page Number: 62

Mr. Steven Kern. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 218, Figure Number: 218

Mr. Henry J. Seldis. Henry Moore in America Praeger Publishers, Inc.. New York, New York, 1973
Page Number: 243, Figure Number: 243

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