Henry Moore

Henry Moore, was a British artist and sculptor. The son of a mining engineer, born in the Yorkshire town of Castleford, Henry Moore became well known for his larger-scale abstract cast bronze and carved marble sculptures.

Substantially supported by the British art establishment, Henry Moore helped to introduce a particular form of modernism into the United Kingdom. His ability to satisfy large-scale commissions made him exceptionally wealthy towards the end of his life. However, he lived frugally and most of his wealth went to endow the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and promotion of the arts.

His signature form is a pierced reclining figure, first influenced by a Toltec-Maya sculpture known as “Chac Mool”, which he had seen as a plaster cast in Paris in 1925. Early versions are pierced conventionally as a bent arm reconnects with the body.

Later more abstract versions are pierced directly through the body in order to explore the concave and convex shapes. These more extreme piercings developed in parallel with Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures. Hepworth first pierced a torso after misreading a review of one of Henry Moore’s early shows.