Henry Moore's sculpture in landscape and garden.

Henry Moore said that “I would rather have a piece of sculpture put in a landscape, almost any landscape, than in or on the most beautiful building I know.” He made a good point and when traveling by train I often think of his remark that one should not waste one’s time reading – because it is such a wonderful opportunity to look out of the window and think and think. Railway lines make a cleaner cut than roads, producing a cross-section through the land.

I very much like Moore’s sculpture in the landscape but I’m not so sure about putting it in gardens – they are are too close to ‘the most beautiful building I know’. The sculpture in Kew Gardens is a case in point. It looks right because it has a ‘landscape setting’

3 thoughts on “Henry Moore's sculpture in landscape and garden.

  1. Christine

    Finnish architect Viljo Revell was such an admirer of the work of Henry Moore that he didn’t consider his work complete until a Henry Moore sculpture was part of them. (http://www.freemagazine.fi/content/view/571/128/)

    Moore, it is said, was in the unusual position of having architects visit his studio to choose from existing works to complement their architectural visions, rather than commissioning pieces from the sculpturor himself with the intention that the sculpture would then complement the architecture.

    The siting of commissioned sculpture (public art) within an architectural setting probably has much in common with the siting of commissioned sculpture within a garden setting. In the design process there can potentially be a process of dialogue and refinement between the two objects (piece and place).

    However, with the siting of sculpture in a pre-existing setting (natural or created) only one set of relations can be modified and adjusted to create the desired dialogue between piece and place.

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    I think Anthony Caro’s sculpture is in a completely different category. It seems to flourish in man-made and enclosed space. And it seems unfinished in natural or garden settings.

  3. Christine

    There is an intereseting quote on Anthony Caro by the New York Sun art critic David Cohen http://www.artcritical.com/DavidCohen/SUN86.htm;

    “You could call Sir Anthony Caro the Madonna of sculpture. However irreverent to recall the Pop diva in relation to so high-minded a modernist as Mr. Caro, the sculptor shares with the entertainer a protean capacity for personal reinvention while never leaving the viewer in any doubt that a piece is his.”


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