Reclining Figure No. 2, 1953
40 x 95.8 x 36.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Henry Moore discovered and became interested in non-Western sculpture (African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian) as a young artist in the early 1920s when he was studying at the Leeds School of Art. In the early 1930s, when he was associated with the Hampstead artists, Moore began work on his first reclining figures; the inspiration came from a Toltec-Mayan reclining warrior sculpture. At the same time, he was influenced by the more abstract forms of Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp, and Alberto Giacometti. Moore’s two bronze sculptures in the WAG collection address the balance between positive and negative space with the open or void areas becoming equally important to the overall sculpted form. He was captivated by the human figure and he explored it throughout his career, often relating the body’s contours to landscape forms such as mountains, hills, and valleys.