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

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Stonehenge X - Henry Moore OM, CH

Henry Moore OM, CH, Stonehenge X, 1973, intaglio print and lithograph on paper, 455 x 294 mm, Tate.

More Moore, this time a print from his Stonehenge series. (Is Stonehenge on a moor, or is it a tor?  Gore, Waugh, drawer, floor... I could go on.) There's a lot of time in the image.  The stones have stood out there for over two millennia, exposed to the weather and Victorians with chisels.  Moore, a man with a vested interest in carved stone, has obviously also spent a fair amount of time looking at them.  The close cropping of the image means that you could almost be looking at the weathered bark of ancient trees, or the legs of an elderly elephant.  Ok, maybe not the elephant.
   The cropping also creates the illusion of the stones being right next to each other, when in fact they would be separated by a few feet, possibly with a third stone resting horizontally on top. (But then you know that.)  Henganatics could, no doubt, identify the stones from the contours and markings alone.
   Moore captures the sheer monumental solidness of the stones so well that he makes me want to go and feel them.  Except they won't let you do that anymore.  Moore.

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