Henry Moore. The Sculptor’s Drawing at Museo Novecento

henry moore florence

Henry Moore at the Museo Novecento in Florence

Almost fifty years since the memorable exhibition held at the Forte di Belvedere in 1972, the works of Henry Moore return to Florence. The Museo Novecento pays homage to him with a monographic show organised in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation, which concentrates on a central aspect of his art: the relationship between drawing and sculpture. Henry Moore. The Sculptor’s drawing, curated by Sebastiano BarassiHead of Henry Moore Collections and Exhibitions, and Sergio RisalitiArtistic Director of the Museo Novecento, is organized in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation, with the contribution of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, from 18 January to 18 July 2021. The Florentine museum will host a substantial selection of drawings, about seventy, along with graphics and sculptures.

Rock in Landscape 1982. Carbon line, charcoal (rubbed), pastel (rubbed), ballpoint pen. Photo: Nigel Moore, Menor

The exhibition is an opportunity to deepen the conceptual and formal genesis of Moore’s work through the analysis of some of the recurring iconographic themes: natural forms such as rocks, pebbles, roots, and trunks, but also animals, skulls, and the hands of the artist become the focus of the exhibition. Taking its cue from a reinterpretation of some central themes in Moore’s production, the exhibition intends to offer an in-depth study on the value of drawing in his almost daily practice and on its relationship with sculpture. According to Moore: “The observation of nature is decisive in the life of an artist. Thanks to nature, the sculptor too, enriches his knowledge of form, finds nutriment for inspiration, and maintains a freshness of vision, avoiding becoming crystallized in the repetition of formulas”.

In the ground floor room of the Museo Novecento, an elephant skull from the artist’s studio will be exceptionally exhibited, on which Moore has applied himself constantly over the years creating a series of engravings, which underline the analysis of shapes from points of varied views and with multiple formal solutions.

The Artist’s Hands 1982 HMF 82(314) carbon line, charcoal, ballpoint pen, chinagraph photo: Sarah Mercer

Henry Moore. The sculptor’s drawing emphasizes the graphic production of this protagonist of contemporary sculpture, who has assimilated the lesson of primitivist and extra-European sculpture, that of the historical avant-gardes and above all the great Italian tradition of Renaissance masters active in Florence and Tuscany.
The exhibition, significant for the presence of works and the unprecedented nature of the choice, the result of a scientific preparation that has engaged the museum in the last two years, therefore strengthens Moore’s bond with the territory, which still houses works by the artist – for example, the Warrior in the Cloister of Santa Croce and the monumental marble sculpture in nearby Prato – and which hosted, in addition to the important exhibition of 1972, an exhibition in the Sala d’Arme of Palazzo Vecchio in 1987. It should be remembered that Florence has represented a salient and perhaps crucial moment in the formation of Moore’s artistic genius, who arrived in the city for the first time in 1925, during his first study trip to Italy, thanks to a scholarship made available by the Royal College of Art. That was the occasion to admire and observe the creations of the great masters of the past, including Giotto, Donatello, Masaccio and above all Michelangelo.

The main purpose of my drawings is to help me sculpt. Drawing is in fact a means to generate ideas for the sculpture, to pull out from myself the initial idea, to organise the ideas and attempt to develop them … I use drawing also as a method of study and observation of nature (nude studies, studies of shells, bones, and other things). I also happen at times to draw for the pure pleasure of doing so

Moore said.


Credits: Fotografie Giorgio Cipriani – Archivio Papi Cipriani

As a collateral event of the exhibition Henry Moore. The sculptor’s drawing Museo Novecento hosts Henry Moore in Tuscanyfrom 18 January to 30 May 2021. The project was born to underline the link between the sculptor and the Tuscan territory and presents a series of works from private collections that testify, together with documents and photographs, the intense artistic and emotional relationship that bound the sculptor to the city of Florence and Tuscany.

source: museonovecento.it

TILL 18 July

Museo Novecento
Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 10

entry fee: €9,50


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