20th Century British Art
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Henry Spencer Moore (1898-1986)

Sculptor born in Castleford, Yorkshire, the son of a coal mining engineer. Moore served in the Civil Service Rifles in World War I and after studied at Leeds School of Art, 1919-21 and Royal College of Art and for a short time at Leon Underwood's Brook Green School. About this Moore began visiting the British Museum and became interested in non-European cultures. He began direct carving and helped to sustain this discipline instigated earlier by Jacob Epstein.

In 1928 he held his first solo exhibition at the Warren Gallery, London and in 1930 Moore became a member of the Seven and Five Society. In 1933 he helped Paul Nash form the avant-garde group, Unit One and then lived in a Hampstead studio, next door to Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. He was a participant in the seminal 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition and although he experimented with abstract and biomorphic art during the mid-1930's, his abiding concern was always with the human figure.
In 1930 Moore, with Jacob Epstein and John Skeaping was invited to represent British sculpture at the XVIII Venice Biennale. During World War II he reached a wider audience with his 'Shelter' drawings, and in 1943 executed a Madonna and Child for St. Matthew's Church, Northampton. After the war in 1948, he won the International Prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale. From then on he was an artist of international stature who executed a great many public commissions including a Reclining Figure for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

In 1951 he was awarded the Order of Merit and two years later was made a Companion of Honour. Now world-famous he held numerous exhibitions at home and abroad, including two retrospectives at the Tate Gallery, 1951 and 1968. 
He exhibited in the UK with the Artists' International Association, National Society of Painters, Sculptors & Printmakers, Hanover Gallery, Grosvenor Gallery, Pallant House Gallery, Barbican Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and countless major British and worldwide museums and galleries. Examples of his work are held in the collections of Kettle's Yard. Atkinson Art Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Pastel Society, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Whitworth Art Gallery, Hepworth Wakefield, Swindon Art Gallery, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Tate Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, Portsmouth Art Gallery Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, University of Warwick Art Collection, Towner Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent Art Gallery, Sheffield Art Gallery, Bournemouth & Poole College Collection and the Laing Art Gallery.
Moore was a member of the British Independent Society. exhibited and was involved with Prints for Schools and the Curwen Press. A portrait by Raymond Coxon of Moore is in the Manchester City Art Gallery. Coxon a life-long friend was best man at Moore's wedding.

With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk

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