Artwork Detail

Reclining Figure
British, 1898–1986
Reinforced carved concrete
20 3/4 x 31 1/2 x 12 1/4 "
University purchase, Kende Sale Fund, 1946
WU 3771
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London
The leading British sculptor of the twentieth century, Henry Moore dedicated his career to experimentation with the human form in varying degrees of abstraction. As in Reclining Figure, Moore often sculpted the body lying lengthwise, a form that when abstracted resembles landscape and geological formations, which Moore associated with ideas of permanence and timelessness. In this work a female figure is composed of three substantial masses-the torso, stomach, and legs bridged by thin struts that extend horizontally along the top of the form. These connectors activate the open spaces in the sculpture and anticipate Moore's later use of taut strings to span the hollows between solid forms. Reclining Figure is one of only approximately twenty-one sculptures Moore made using concrete though he created more than ten thousand artworks during his lifetime. Here he added pigments to the wet concrete before pouring it into a mold, resulting in the mottled coloring that resembles the variegated surface of stone. [Permanent collection label, 2019]