St Louis


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


length 193cm

Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1 on right-side of image

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, Volume II, Oldbourne Press, London 1964, p.459