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Henry Moore Artist Biography

English artist and sculptor Henry Spencer Moore is best known for his semi-abstract human figure sculptures. His monumental bronze sculptures are located in various prominent public places. He became the most influential and famous sculptor of his generation.Henry Moore was born in the small coalmining town of Castleford, Yorkshire, on 30 July 1898. He attended schools in his hometown and was determined to sit the examinations for a scholarship to the local art college, but his father, ever a practical man, thought that he should follow an elder sister into the teaching profession. After a brief introduction as a student teacher, Moore began teaching full-time at his old school in Castleford. He enlisted at the age of eighteen. Shortly afterwards he was sent to France, where he and his regiment took part in the battle of Cambrai. Moore's participation in the war ended when he was gassed; he was sent back to spend two months in hospital.Following his military service, Moore applied for and received an ex-serviceman's grant to attend Leeds School of Art. At the end of his second year he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. In 1924 Moore was appointed as sculpture instructor at the Royal College. It was there that he met Irina Radetsky, a painting student at the college, whom he married a year later. The couple lived in Hampstead, where they mingled with many aspiring young artists and writers, including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Stephen Spender and Herbert Read. During this time he was a member of Unit One, a group of advanced artists organized by Paul Nash. Henry Mooreメs first commission, received in 1928, was to produce a sculpture relief for the newly opened Headquarters of London Transport at St James's Underground building. This was followed in the same year by his first one-man exhibition, which consisted of forty-two sculptures and fifty-one drawings. He has three more solo shows in the 1930s and participated in major group exhibitions of the time. Moore taught at the Royal College of Art as Instructor of Sculpture from 1925-32 and at the Chelsea School of Art from 1932-9. He became an important force in the English Surrealist movement, although he was not entirely committed to its doctrines. In 1940, he was appointed an official war artist and was commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee to create drawings of people sheltering from air-raids in the London Underground. These drawings, together with those he made subsequently in the coalmines, are considered among his greatest achievements.Mooreメs first foreign retrospective exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1946. Demands for exhibitions of his work began to increase, both in number and in scale. In 1948 he won the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale. In 1974 he gifted over two hundred sculptures and drawings and a complete collection of graphics to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Over thirty major pieces and another collection of graphics went to The Tate Gallery in 1978. Other gifts have included drawings to the British Museum and graphic work to the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Council in London.A few years before his death in 1986 Moore gave the whole estate at Perry Green with its studios, houses, cottages and collection of work to the Trustees of the Henry Moore Foundation to administer in perpetuity, charging them with the allocation of grants, bursaries and scholarships to promote sculpture within the cultural life of the country."The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do." (Henry Moore)

More art prints from Henry Moore

Four Studies of Miners at the Coalface By Henry Moore
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