Henry Moore, O.M., C.H. (British 1898-1986)
Signed ‘Moore’ (lower right) Signed ‘Henry Moore’ verso
Pen and ink charcoal and ink wash on paper
Executed circa 1931
- Bucholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York. Widely respected as one of the most astute dealers in modern art, Valentin organized influential exhibitions and attracted major artists to his Gallery
- Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles. In the 1960s the gallery was at the forefront for contemporary and modern art exhibiting prominent European artists, including Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon.
- Sothebys, London 1972
- Redfern Gallery, London
- Private Collection, Florida
- Cincinnati Art Museum, 1950 (currently researching this)
- Frank Perls, Beverley Hills, 6 British Moderns 16th March -17th April 1950. Perls introduced southern California to artists he believed represented the best modern art of America and Europe. Between 1950 to 1954, Frank Perls Gallery organized the first West coast exhibitions of Joan Miro, Marino Marini, and Alberto Giacometti
- San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Six British Artists, 1st May – 4th June,1950, no 373.50
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art, June 1950 (currently researching this)
- Buchholz Gallery, Curt Valentin, New York, Contemporary Drawings 26th September – 14th October, 1950, No 64 -
- Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, Modern Masters Drawings and Watercolours, No 33 3rd – 29th April, 1967,
Henry Moore Complete Drawings 1930-9, London 1998, volume II, No AG 31.13, illustrated p.48
Sheet height 55.8 cm 22 in. Length 36.1cm., 14 1/4 in.
In a silvered, casseta frame
Frame height 84 cm. 33 in. length 60 cm., 23 ½ in.
The figure is monumental and sculptural; her strength and vitality embodied in a build- up of energy in her body mass. Her presence is conveyed through strength of form and articulation of her body. Whilst her face is treated with reserve, her expression reflects an inner radiance and beauty. Drawing and sculpture were separate practices for Moore. The drawings helped establish Moore’s reputation and were widely seen as complementary presences in their own right. In the 1930’s drawing became a central practice not just as a preliminary to sculpture, and the word ‘drawing’ gradually became less than adequate to describe these works which became recognized by the critics as pictorial art by the end of the 1930’s. As a draughtsman, pictorial artist, or perhaps even painter as he should properly be thought of at this point in his career, Moore was able to work fast with ideas flooding onto the paper, ideas relating to sculpture but which he elaborated and embellished with detail that was essentially pictorial. During the 1930’s pictorial art gave free range to his imagination more readily than sculpture. Pictorial art could reflect on the human condition by means of narratives developed through interaction of internal parts in a way that single-object sculpture could not.
Life drawings extend to the early 1930s, but are rare later on, were generally made on larger sheets. ‘I find drawing a useful outlet for ideas which there is not enough time time to realize as sculpture…Every few months, I stop carving for two or three weeks and do life drawing. At one time I used to mix the two, perhaps carving during the day and drawing from a model during the evening. But I found this unsatisfactory – the two activities interfered with each other, for the mental approach to each is different..Stone.. is so different from flesh and blood that one cannot carve directly from life without almost the certainty of ill-treating the material. Drawing and carving are so different that a shape or size or conception which ought to be satisfting in a drawing will be totally wrong realized as stone..In my sculpture I do not draw directly on my memory or observations of a particular object, but rather use whatever comes up from my general fund of knowledge of natural forms’. HM
The drawings demonstrate that Moore was a pictorial artist as well as a sculptor. ‘I wonder … very impertinently whether Mr Moore may not be a painter who has taken the wrong turning’. (Raymond Mortimer, critic) Moore’s imagination needed the expressive possibilities of both painting and sculpture.
‘The construction of the human figure, the tremendous variety of balance, of size, of rhythm, all those things make the human being much more difficult to get right, in a drawing, than anything else…its not just a matter of training – you can’t understand it without being emotionally involved…it really is a deep, strong fundamental struggle to understand oneself as much as to understand what one’s drawing’. (HM) Moore wanted to express what made a drawn figure real by expressing vitality through organization of form. He liked working quickly so that the vitality of the model was seen as liveliness and he could reflect volume in the drawing. His sketchbook notes show a constant emphasis on the idea that the human body gains strength in drawing from being conceived in terms of mass. He prioritises certain kinds of formal arrangement that stress organization of mass, over representational accuracy. In that way vitality becomes an attribute of form, not something brought in from the outside to give the superficial effect of liveliness. Moore avoided gestures with the hands, preferring what he called ‘pent up energy’ expressed through relation of masses, to the spent energy of limb movements which are rare after his very early work. He also avoided particular facial expression, and any sense of the model using gesture or expression to address the viewer.
Curt Valentin and Buchholz Gallery, New York Curt Valentin was born in Hamburg Germany in 1902. After completing his education, Valentin became a modern art dealer in Berlin. In 1934 Valentin returned to Hamburg to work in the Buchholz Gallery. Owned by Karl Buchholz, this gallery maintained two businesses: a bookstore in the front and, in the rear, an art gallery devoted to the modern art classified as degenerate by Hitler. In 1937 Valentin immigrated to the United States with a sufficient number of modern German paintings to open a gallery under the Buchholz name in New York City. After two difficult years on West Forty-sixth Street, Valentin moved the gallery to West Fifty-seventh Street. In 1951 the gallery became the Curt Valentin Gallery. Widely respected as one of the most astute dealers in modern art, Valentin organized influential exhibitions and attracted major artists to his Gallery. His enthusiasm for sculpture is obvious from the artists and exhibitions he selected. Valentin also published several distinguished, limited edition books in which the writings of poets and novelists were 'illustrated' by a contemporary artist. Curt Valentin died of a heart attack in August 1954 while visiting Marino Marini in Italy. One year later the Gallery was liquidated and some work from the Gallery was sold at a Parke-Bernet auction in November 1955. Several of Valentin's artists, as well as his assistant, Jane Wade, joined the Otto Gerson Gallery, which, after Gerson's death in 1962, became the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery.
Felix Henry Landau (1924 – February 17, 2003) was an American art dealer, whose Los Angeles gallery was a showcase for modern and contemporary art in the 1960s Landau was born in Vienna, the son of musician Fritz Landau. His family fled the Nazis and moved to New York City in 1938. He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater, where he met Pete Seeger and, after the war, became the folk singer's first manager. He moved to Los Angeles in 1948, and in 1951 opened the Felix Landau Gallery on La Cienega Boulevard, which would become a central location for art galleries in the city. He introduced Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt to Los Angeles, and featured California abstract painter John McLaughlin. He presented Francis Bacon's first show in Los Angeles, and held an exhibition of Peter Voulkos' work. Other artists featured in his gallery included Henry Moore, Sam Francis, Paul Wonner, Richard Diebenkorn, William Dole, John Rosenbaum, Jack Zajac, Giacomo Benevelli and Gaston Lachaise. His focus excluded the field of 'Pop art'. A 1967 Los Angeles Times interview called him 'the tastemaker of La Cienega.' His clientele included Hollywood celebrities such as Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Julie Andrews and Marlo Thomas. In 1966 he also began operating the Landau-Alan (later Felix Landau) Gallery in New York City, which introduced David Hockney to the U.S. In 1971 he closed his galleries and moved to Europe, working as a private dealer in Paris until his death.
HENRY MOORE - Paintings in Museums and Public Art Galleries Worldwide:
Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, UK Newhaven Packet, 1885 Notable SiteMusée d'Orsay Collection Database, Paris Marine, 1887 Notable SiteRoyal Academy of Arts Collection, London, UK Christchurch Art Gallery / Te Puna O Waiwhetu, New Zealand Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, England Kenilworth Castle, 1878 Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington - Provenance Research Project Madonna, watercolor and colored pencil on paper Manchester City Art Gallery, UK Arran (Across Kilbrannan Sound) Cattle Fording a Stream National Gallery of Victoria, Australia Outside the harbour National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK 2 paintings online National Portrait Gallery, London, UK Tate Gallery, London, UK Tyne & Wear Museums, England Broken Weather, North Coast of Cornwall, 1890
Provenance: Bucholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York (Widely respected as one of the most astute dealers in modern art, Valentin organized influential exhibitions and attracted major artists to his Gallery) Felix Landau, Los Angeles Sothebys London 1972 Redfern Gallery, London Private Collection, Florida Exhibitions: San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honour, Six British Artists, 1950 Literature: Henry Moore Complete Drawings 1930-9, London 198, volume II, No AG 31.13, illustrated p.48.