The present double-sided work exemplifies the highly important technical and stylistic developments Moore achieved as result of his expanded drawing practice. During the Second World War, Moore executed some of his most celebrated and certainly his most publicly recognized achievements as a draughtsman: the Shelter and Coal-Mine drawings executed in the London Underground and the pits at Castleford in Yorkshire. In the present work, we see a combination of extraordinarily detailed studies of Moore's most celebrated themes; reclining forms are juxtaposed with a study of a mother and child and in the upper right groups of spectators examine sculptures in various positions in an internal setting reminiscent of the narrow tunneled alleys of the underground. The combined scenes of sculptures and people, explore the relationship between internal and external forms. Moore’s hollow forms are at once both abstract and figurative.
The first owner of this drawing was Curt Valentin, the German art dealer known for representing some of the most important modern artists including Alexander Calder, Marino Marini and Jacques Lipchitz in addition to representing Moore. As a German-Jewish art dealer, Valentin fled war-torn Germany and in 1937 emigrated to the United States where he opened Buchholz Gallery in New York City.
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