Reclining Woman: Elbow, 1981 with Retiring Wife: Through Hole 2014
The Henry Moore Foundation dominates the Hertfordshire village of Perry Green. Here Henry resided in rural seclusion with his wife Irina from 1940 right up to his death in 1986, whilst all the time wowing the art world across the globe with, not only his unmistakable abstract sculptures, but also with his prints, fabrics and tapestries. Mr. Moore was nothing if not prolific on the art front.
That we have waited almost 20 years to visit this cultural Mecca on our doorstep is baffling. That we pre-planned this visit some weeks ago as something to do last weekend is also rather poignant. Only on Saturday we learned that one of Gunta’s close relatives is seriously ill. This relative, also a sculptor of some note, studied the subject under the tutelage of none other than Henry Moore and was himself a visitor to Perry Green in the 1960’s.
Reclining Figure: External Form 1953-54
A tour of the house was a journey back to your Grandparents house in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. A frugal man, there is nothing in the house suggestive that the owner was in fact a multi-millionaire superstar of the art world…… save for the Picasso handing in the kitchen ot the Renoir hung in the corner of the living room!
Thankfully as we entered the extensive gardens the weather looked down upon us favourably, despite showing the potential for a deluge. So we spent a pleasurable hour perusing some of the baffling forms that he created, including ‘Reclining Figures’ too numerous to count (if you stumble across a successful formula, why not stick with it!).
By my own admission, I know very little about art and clearly I do not view his pieces in the same way as Moore (the whole point of the exercise I suppose), but the scale of his works are incredibly impressive and the bronzes are very tactile.
Large Figure in a Shelter 185-86; Small Daughter 2014
In addition to the plentiful Moore exhibits, the Henry Moore Foundation is currently hosting an exhibition in the grounds entitled ‘Body Void – Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art’. Notably, this includes works by Anthony Gormley and also Damien Hirst’ halved calf and cow, which whilst interesting, surely would be more at home in a museum of natural history as opposed to an art gallery, but that is only my view.
Rudi made me laugh when he said that the photographic piece ‘Pose Work for Plinths 3’ by Bruce McLean owes all of its inspiration to Python’s ‘Ministry Of Silly Walks’ sketch. It’s a fair point……