Henry Moore: vocabulary exercise



Henry Moore became one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century, helping to

introduce … to the art world.

š symbolism              š expressionism                    š modernism             š abstraction

His ability to satisfy … led him to become exceptionally wealthy towards the end of his life, although he spent little of his wealth.

š the demand for war memorials                 š a new need for official busts

š large-scale commissions                            š the public’s taste for sophisticated casts

His signature form is a…, first influenced by a Toltec-Mayan sculpture known as Chac Mool, which he had seen as a plaster cast in Paris in 1925.

š full-size male nude                                    š pierced reclining figure

š completely abstract relief                          š totem-like column

Many interpret the undulating form of his reclining figures with reference to the landscape and … of Yorkshire where Moore was born.

š sandy beaches                    š cityscape                š hills                        š cliffs

Moore is best known for his abstract monumental …, which can be seen in many

places around the world as public works of art.

š wood                      š steel            š purbeck stone                    š bronze

The subjects are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically mother and child or …

š sportsmen               š dancing women     š religious figures     š reclining figures

Moore’s early work focused on … in which the form of the sculpture evolves as the

artist repeatedly whittles away at the block.

š direct carving         š polychromic marble   š casting and moulding    š assemblages

In the 1930s, Moore’s transition into Modernism paralleled that of.., with both sculptors bouncing new ideas off each other and several other artists living in Hampstead at the time.

š Ben Nicholson       š Naum Gabo           š Patrick Heron         š Barbara Hepworth

Moore made many preparatory … and drawings for each sculpture. Most of them have sur vived and provide an insight into his development.

š sketches      š underdrawings                   š watercolours          š chalks

By the end of the 1940s Moore increasingly produced sculptures by …; working out

the shape in clay or plaster before casting the final work in bronze using the lost wax tech-


š chiselling                š carving                   š cutting out             š modelling

After the Second World War Moore’s bronzes took on their monumental …, particularly

suited for the public art commissions he was receiving.

š scale                       š height                     š length                     š weight

At his home in Much Hadham, Moore built up a collection of natural objects; skulls, …, pebbles and shells, which he would use to provide inspiration for organic forms.

š floating wood        š trinkets                   š drift-wood             š swamped boards

For his largest works, he often produced a half scale working model before scaling up for the

final moulding and casting at a bronze ….

š warehouse              š foundry                  š studio                     š shed

His mastery of drawing is reflected in his preparatory sketches as well as his of figures sheltering in the London Underground during World War II.

š portrayal                 š models                   š plaster casts            š depictions

Moore preferred his works to be exhibited …,interacting with the landscape or urban environment.

š indoors                   š by the water side   š in the open air                    š in the street


Reclining figure was open to the elements, touched, … and enjoyed by the passing public.

š turned away           š stepped       š climbed on             š pushed aside

Reclining figure in Perth is of a woman lying on her side, resting on her elbow.

š elbow                     š forehead                 š thighs                     š chest

This is clearly not a realistic impression of the female form but a series of flowing lines and truncated .. which suggest the figure.

š shapes                    š limbs                      š figures                    š stances

This sculpture is easily identified as a female figure despite the … and simplifications. Some parts are exaggerated, others made smaller or eliminated altogether.

š disruptions             š distortions              š displacement          š decomposition



pierced unspoilt outdoors changing counterfoil skull scattered lawns alien countryside matches sunshine reclining setting thoughtfully

Kew is being the perfect host over the next few months to a crowd of modernist sculptures by one of England’s best known sculptors of the 20th century, Henry Moore. It’s an ideal ………… for the works, which were intended to be shown …………, and need walking around to discover their ins and outs – the ………… aspects that Moore deliberately worked in to the abstract shapes and figures. What’s more, ………….. imbues the bronzes and green coppers with rich glossy surfaces, and dark weather increases the drama of the forms. The sculptures are all ……………. in the area close to the Main Gate and the Victoria Gate. And they are ………………… positioned – for example the tall shape of the Large Upright Internal/External (1981-82) on the path to the Pagoda echoes the cylindrical building rising from the ground in the distance; the Draped Reclining Woman (1957-58) ………………. the long, arched shapes of the Palm House behind it. There are several recurrent types of Moore sculpture among those on show at Kew: his trademark ………….. figures, columnular totemic forms and interlocking or composite abstract shapes. The reclining figures look most at home dotted around the Gardens’ lush …………….., but the abstract shapes draw much attention, with children keen to climb in them as if that’s what they were designed for. And perhaps they were. A short film about Moore, shown in the Prince of Wales Conservatory, has the artist recounting his joy at seeing lambs frolic around one of his sculptures on the grass outside. For inspiration, even in his 80s, he would travel out every day into the ……………… No surprise, then, that his forms are described as organic – there is little that could be said to be aggressive or industrial about these sculptures, despite their monumental size and stylised interpretations of figures. His work is also described as humanist, though the odd shapes and strange faces are often more …………….. in their appearance. Indeed, it doesn’t seem that Moore was making a statement with his sculptures, but striving to produce satisfying, enjoyable works of art – art that sits happily in ………… natural environments, and provides relief from the heavy blocks of our built environment. Upright Motive No.8 (1955) is one such piece that Moore created as a ………….. to the horizontal rhythm of architecture, after noting how a tree growing in a courtyard had this effect. The other Upright Motives on show pay testament to one of Moore’s earliest influences – the ethnographic art he encountered in the British Museum. Others certainly take something from natural objects. Moore collected natural objects ranging from skulls to driftwood at his Much Hadham home, Hoglands, and used them for ideas. Oval with Points (1968-70), with is air of tension formed by the division of a void, was inspired by an elephant …………. Moore’s sculptures tend to be asymmetrical and …………… in some way, to create a mystery about them – some look rather plain from one side, but reveal smooth caverns and shining curved frames from another. Two Piece Reclining Figure: Cut (1979-81) is more of a Loch Ness Monster from one direction; Three Piece Reclining Figure: Draped (1975) has a definite rabbit head jutting out of it if you approach from its back.

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