Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1 1959 (LH 457)


length 193cm

In doing these Reclining Figure sculptures (No.1 in 1959 and No.2 in 1960) it came naturally and without any conscious decision that I made them in two separate pieces, the head-and-body end, and the leg-end. In both sculptures I realised that I was simplifying the essential elements of my reclining figure theme. In many of my reclining figures the head-and-neck part of the sculpture, sometimes the torso part too, is upright, giving contrast to the horizontal direction of the whole sculpture. Also in my reclining figures I have often made a sort of looming leg – the top leg in the sculpture projecting over the lower leg, which gives a sense of thrust and power, as a large branch of a tree might move outwards from the main trunk, or as a seaside cliff might overhang from below, if you are on the beach . . . In that sense I think these sculptures are more fully in the round than any previous work of mine. Being in two pieces the work separates itself from seeming to be only a representation of a reclining figure.

Both these sculptures are a mixture, an amalgamation of the human body with rock-forms and with landscape, and so like a metaphor in poetry giving to each element a new aspect, and perhaps a new meaning.

Henry Moore quoted in Tate Gallery Catalogues: The modern British paintings, drawings and sculpture, Vol. II, Oldbourne Press, London 1964, p.459