Composition 1932 (LH 115)


The High Museum of Art

beech wood
height 35.6cm

High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Gift of Rich’s, Inc., 52.18

All the best sculpture I know is both abstract and representational at the same time. I do not admire work which is produced as an escape from reality, which is soporific or prettifies merely as an entertainment. Some music (like Chopin’s Nocturnes) is an escape from reality, it makes one sit back and go ‘soft and mushy’. I prefer the kind which keys one up, – the later quartets of Beethoven, for example. There is sculpture and there is painting of these two sorts... The primitive simplifies, I think, through directness of emotional aim to intensify their expression. Simplicity as an aim in itself tends to emptiness and monotony, but simplicity in carving, interpreted as lack of surface trimmings, reveals the contrast in section, axis, direction and bulk between different shapes and so intensifies the three-dimensional power in a work.

Henry Moore quoted in New English Weekly, 5 May 1932, pp.65–6