Interactive Tour of Perry Green

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Henry Moore, Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae

Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae

photo: Jonty Wilde

LH 580
bronze edition of 3 + 1
cast: Hermann Noack, Berlin length 750cm
signature: stamped Moore, 0/3
Acquired 1989

Moore recognised that sculpture has one great advantage over painting in that it can be looked at from all round. Many of the most successful works provide a continual, changing, never-ending surprise and interest. Although the forms are organic, the vertebrae have been enlarged to such an extent that the result is abstract. Moore noted: ’All art is abstract in one sense. Not to like abstract qualities or not to like reality is to misunderstand what sculpture and art is all about... I see no reason why realistic art and purely absract art can’t exist in the world side by side at the same time, even in one artist at the same time.’

This piece has a lacquered surface, which gives it a warm golden colour and provides the bronze with some protection from the elements. An even larger version of the work, Three Forms Vertebrae 1978-79 (LH 580a), was made ten years later and is sited at the entrance to the Dallas City Hall.