LONDON - On 25 March, as part of the Made in Britain sale taking place in London, Sotheby’s will offer an important collection of prints by Henry Moore: one of the most illustrious figures in the history of British art.
The works that form this collection were created in the later stages of Moore’s career when the artist focused most earnestly on printmaking. As a producer committed to the public enjoyment of art, it is unsurprising that Moore dedicated himself to printed media; art forms that lend themselves naturally to wide and egalitarian reception.
The lithographs that form this collection display many of the tendencies and qualities that are thought to define Moore’s celebrated oeuvre. Firstly, the style that the artist employed in creating these prints appears to oscillate seamlessly between the poles of abstraction and figuration (see lot 119). These works also depict the classical subjects for which Moore is most well-known: group portraits, mothers and children, and reclining and seated figures (see lots 118 and 122). Although more often (or more famously) realised in three dimensions, the artist’s innovative approach to such familiar subjects, and his emphatically sculptural conception of the human body in particular, is effectively captured in these works in graphic, two-dimensional form (see lot 117). Furthermore, in an effect seen repeatedly in Moore’s productions in bronze and stone, the graphic figures that are depicted in these works appear somehow to be both weighty and buoyant, monumental and ethereal (see lots 123 and 125).
Moore’s capacity to move between two- and three-dimensional media whilst employing a consistent – and consistently compelling – visual language attests to this great creator’s virtuosity across artistic media.