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    Henry Moore

    Henry Moore
    Sculptural Ideas

    3rd February - 3rd March 2022

    Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) is one of the most significant Modern British artists. His work came to symbolise post-war modernism and caused a British sculptural renaissance. Although he was mainly known as a sculptor, he was also a prolific printmaker conveying these sculptural forms onto paper.

    This portfolio of etchings and aquatints, Sculptural Ideas, 1981 typifies Moore’s interest in combining his interest in sculpture, drawing and printmaking.  Many of the figures depicted in the prints are directly related to earlier drawings and 1930’s studies, which Moore decided to reinterpret in these bright, bold and lively prints.


    Moore’s interest in printmaking began tentatively after the First World War and then intensified from the mid-1960’s, continuing to the end of his life. While often complaining that graphic projects took him away from his sculpture, the reality was that he enjoyed drawing and printmaking as activities in their own right.  Naturally gregarious, he found interaction with printers, publishers and those involved in creating graphic projects stimulating and intellectually rewarding.

    Henry Moore behind his Kimber and Hughes star-wheel etching press with master printer Jacques Frélaut in the Etching Studio at Perry Green, 1971. Image: Errol Jackson.


    ” I really began to want to do graphic work, or prints, when I discovered that one could change a print without losing what you’d got already”.

    – Henry Moore, from an interview with Nigel Rees, ‘Kaleidoscope’, BBC, 22nd May 1975.

    “The whole of nature is an endless demonstration of shape and form. It always surprises me when artists try to escape from this”.

    – Henry Moore

    Henry Moore
    Sculptural Ideas 4

    Etching and aquatint on Fabriano paper, 1980.
    Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 50 recto.
    Printed by 2 RC Editrice, Rome and published by Raymond Spencer Company for the Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham in association with 2 RC Editrice, Rome.
    Sheet: 43.2 x 58.2 cm.
    Plate mark: 25.1 x 34.2 cm.
    Cramer VI 583


    The Printer Valter Rossi and his wife Eleonora, founders of the 2 RC Editrice print workshop in Rome, had for some time been keen to work with Henry Moore. After a series of visits and encouragement, even moving part of their print workshop to Pietrasanta to be near the Moore’s family home, they found an opportunity to work together.

    Moore had been excited by Rossi’s suggestion of making very colourful aquatints and etchings, based on drawings he was doing at the time and studies he had previously made in the 1930s.  Each of the seven prints thus became reinterpretations from a series of works and previous explorations from Ideas for Carvings, 1980 to Ideas for Sculpture, 1934.

    “I find drawing a useful outlet for ideas for which there is not time enough to realise as sculpture… And I sometimes draw just for its own enjoyment”. 

    – Henry Moore

    “One mustn’t let technique be the consciously important thing. It should be at the service of expressing the form”.

    – Henry Moore

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