- Henry Moore
- Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 4
- Inscribed with the signature Moore, stamped with the foundry mark Cire Perdue Morris Singer Founders London and numbered 4/8
Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London (acquired from the artist in August 1962)
Rita and Taft Schreiber, Beverly Hills (acquired from the above in 1962)
Thence by descent to the present owner
Alan Bowness and Herbert Read, Henry Moore, Sculpture and Drawings, vol. 3, London, 1965, no. 479, illustrations of another cast pls. 112-115
Ionel Jianou, Henry Moore, Paris, 1968, no. 464, illustration of another cast p. 99
Robert Melville, Henry Moore Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, New York, 1970, no. 622-24, illustration of another cast
La Connaissance, Brussels, 1971, no. 622-24, illustration of another cast
"Homage to Henry Moore," XXe Siècle, Paris, 1972, illustration of another cast
Henry Moore (exhibition catalogue), Columbus Museum of Art, 1984, no. 44, illustration of another cast on the cover and p. 75
The subject of the reclining figure, explored in the present work, is probably the single most iconic image of Moore's oeuvre. Initially inspired by Mexican sculpture, this subject appears throughout the artist's career, ranging from organic forms to near-abstract, geometric ones. On the use of the reclining figure in his art, Moore once said, "There are three fundamental poses of the human figure. One is standing, the other is seated, and the third is lying down... But of the three poses, the reclining figure gives the most freedom, compositionally and spatially. The seated figure has to have something to sit on. You can't free it from its pedestal. A reclining figure can recline on any surface. It is free and stable at the same time. It fits with my belief that sculpture should be permanent, should last for eternity" (quoted in Henry Moore (exhibition catalogue), Columbus Museum of Art, op. cit., p. 26).
Conceived in 1961, Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 4 employs the important element of sculptural separation and the creation of negative space. In the process of abstracting the human figure, Moore began to find a harmony between outdoor landscapes and the human figure. The artist began to create sculptures consisting of more than one piece in the 1930s when, according to his own account, he "realised what an advantage a separate two-piece composition could have in relating figures to landscape. Knees and breasts are mountains. Once these two parts become separated you don't expect it to be a naturalistic figure; therefore you can more justifiably make it like a landscape or a rock. If it is a single figure you can guess what it's going to be like. If it is in two pieces, there's a bigger surprise, you have more unexpected views; therefore the special advantage over painting -- of having the possibility of many different views -- is more fully exploited" (quoted in Carlton Lake, Atlantic Monthly, vol. 209, no. 1, Boston, January 1962, p. 44).
Other casts of this work are in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; City Art Gallery, Wakefield and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.