128
128

EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE IS REAL: PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Henry Moore
SEATED FIGURE ON A LEDGE
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 137,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
128

EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE IS REAL: PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Henry Moore
SEATED FIGURE ON A LEDGE
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 137,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Henry Moore
1898 - 1986
SEATED FIGURE ON A LEDGE
Inscribed Moore and numbered 1/4
Bronze
Height: 10 1/4 in.
25.7 cm
Conceived in 1957 and cast in bronze in 1977 in a numbered edition of 4 plus one artist's proof. 
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This work is recorded in the archives of the Henry Moore Foundation.

Provenance

James Kirkman, London
Private Collection, Japan (and sold: Sotheby's, London, April 1, 1981, lot 84)
Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Alan Bowness, ed., Henry Moore, Complete Sculpture, 1955-64, vol. III, London, 1965, no. 432a, illustration of another cast p. 35 

Catalogue Note

Seated Figure on a Ledge belongs to a series of works from the late 1950s that Moore created while developing a commissioned sculpture for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Although Moore had experimented with seated—as opposed to reclining or standing—figures since the first part of the decade, the UNESCO project offered a very particular challenge: that of connecting figurative sculpture to its architectural surroundings. As art historian Herbert Read described: “the modern sculptor (and this includes Rodin) has an additional difficulty which arises from the lack of any unity of style in the artifacts of our contemporary civilization—the conflict between an architecture that is essentially functional and an art of sculpture that is still essentially symbolic (especially when it has a representative purpose) being a particularly acute instance” (quoted in Alan Bowness, op. cit., p. 6).

While this question took Moore years to resolve, it ultimately led his sculpture in new and dynamic directions. At odds with the practice of completing a sculpture for an existing building as a simple enhancement to the architecture, Moore thought of his sculpted figures as independent works of art that needed to be seen from all angles and not as adornments positioned against a flat surface. Moore’s solution was to create independent architectural elements for his sculptures—including walls, steps, chairs and ledges—to create self-contained and private settings for his figures. Although Moore eventually chose a reclining figure for the UNESCO project, he continued to expand his work on these individualized architectural settings for the remainder of the decade.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York