After 20 years since the last monographic exhibition, taken in Venice on the Island of Saint George and organized by The Giorgio Cini Foundation in 1995, a superb monographic exhibition concerning the British sculptor Henry Moore has opened in Rome with 77 works including sculptures, drawings, watercolors and prints. The exhibition presents the entire creative life of Moore, considered one of the most important sculptors of the twentieth century for his technical skill and inventiveness whereby he has been able to combine the abstract and the research on the human figure. His monumental size sculptures enter in an interesting dialogue with the scenic spaces of the Great Halls of the Baths of Diocletian in Rome and with the classical tradition represented in the exhibition of the National Roman Museum.
Promoted by the Special Superintendence for the Coliseum, the National Roman Museum and the archaeological area of Rome, in collaboration with Tate Gallery and Electa, this exhibition is curated by Chris Stephens and David Colombo.
The exhibition is divided into five thematic areas.
The exploration of modern, showing the early development of what Moore inherited from artists such as Jacob Epstein and Constantin Brancusi until achieving an increasing abstraction of the figure, as it happens in Picasso’s and the Surrealists’ works;
War and Peace, which focuses on the representation the artist gives of the sufferings during the war and his growing public role after the Second World War. Very interesting and very emotionally engaging is this section ‘War and Peace’, with drawings of Londoners refugees in Underground stations during the bombing.
Mother and son, one of his most famous subject, almost an obsession throughout his career, which in dialogue with the tradition produces images of maternal love and protection;
The Reclining figure, maybe the factor recurring in his sculptures, whereby Moore explored the formal possibilities of the female figure, rendered almost abstract, in a ongoing confrontation with the landscape;
Sculpture for public places, including works relating to orders made by Public Institutions that made him an international celebrity; works seeking dialogue with the environmental space and tending to monumentality.
Sixty-four of the works in the exhibition come from the Tate Gallery, which owns a representative collection of the works by Henry Moore, selected and donated by the artist himself. Some lending institutions and significant Italian museums such as the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and the Collection Peggy Guggenheim in Venice give the opportunity of exploring the artistic career and the strong bond of Moore with Italy, since its first, decisive visit in 1925, passing through his participation in the Venice Biennale of 1948 up to the love that had for life in Tuscany.