Staring at art from the Tate's collection and thinking about it

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Mother and Child With Wave Background I - Henry Moore OM, CH

Henry Moore OM, CH, Mother and Child With Wave Background I, 1976, lithograph on paper, 175 x 265 mm, Tate.









A late print by Moore raises the question: Why do the people in his drawings look like his sculptures?  As a good modernist, his sculptural figures look the way they do because he's being true to the nature of his material.  So his stone mothers and children look heavy and block-like because that's pretty much what stone is like.  Bronze, also on the weighty side.
   But why draw them like that?  This isn't a preparatory work for a sculpture.  It's its own thing.  It's almost as if Moore has set his sculptures loose in their own comic book.  The temptation to cover drawings like this in word balloons and onomatopoeic sound effects is overwhelming.  Although not so overwhelming I'd actually do it.

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