On view

British, 1898–1986
Reclining Connected Forms, 1969
36 1/4 in. x 7 ft. 4 in. x 52 in. (92.1 x 223.5 x 132.1 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
© The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2021 / www.henry-moore.org
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
The abstracted shapes of Reclining Connected Forms allude to two enduring themes within the art of Henry Moore, one of Britain’s leading twentieth-century sculptors: the reclining figure and the mother and child. Here, undulating organic forms evoke a recumbent human figure, a mother embracing a child, or perhaps an infant in the womb. Henry Moore once associated the motif of the mother and child in his work to his discovery of and interest in armor: “Armor is an outside shell like the shell of a snail which is there to protect the more vulnerable forms inside…. This has led sometimes to the idea of the Mother and Child where the outer form, the mother, is protecting the inner form, the child.” Moore began his life-long exploration of reclining figures in the 1930s, sometimes separating the figures into two or three pieces. In addition, he began to experiment with the inclusion of holes that penetrate the biomorphic shapes of his carvings, and beginning in the 1950s, often treated the open spaces within his sculpture as significantly as he did the solid forms.