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The National Museum in Krakow in conjunction with the Polish Sculpture Centre in Orońsk, the National Museum in Wrocław, and the Henry Moore Foundation is organising an exhibition entitled “The Power of Nature. Henry Moore in Poland”. Henry Moore (1898 - 1986) was recognised as a classic of modernism during his life and is considered by many specialists to be the greatest sculptor of the 20th century.
The artist endowed outdoor sculpture with completely new meaning; abandoning detailed nature studies in macro- and macro-scale, he developed his own repertoire of forms based on the contrast of convex and concave forms, gentle and broken lines. His great feeling for three-dimensional composition allowed him to create even relatively small pieces which emanate monumentalism. Moore’s sculptures can be found in the great metropolises of the world, in famed sculpture gardens, and respected museum collections.
Henry Moore revolutionised sculpture in the 20th century by breaking with its conventional static approach. A move from realistic portrayal towards nearly abstract forms, the illusion of lightness of form and of its integration with the surroundings, the fluidity of shapes, these are the features which thanks to Moore’s creative output define modernity in sculpture.
All of the significant themes in Moore’s sculpture will be presented at the exhibition in Kraków: the theme of the Reclining Figure which is so typical of his work, animal studies based on insightful observation, and outstanding abstract forms. An exceptionally interesting aspect will be the confrontation of Moore’s sculptures with the urban space of Kraków; the larger works will be displayed in open-air settings in the gardens and courtyards of several of several branches of our Museum. Smaller works, on the other hand, will be displayed in the interior of the Main Building, the Europeum, and the Szołayski House. The “exhibition-walk” convention will allow visitors to enjoy a deeper reflection on the presence of the sculpted works in the urban space while also symbolically joining the branches of the Museum, scattered as they are throughout the centre of Kraków, highlighting the broad variety which the National Museum in Krakow has to offer; fans of Moore’s work will also have the opportunity during the exhibition to get to know better the permanent and temporary exhibitions of our branches.
Henry Moore, one of the great originals of British art, was briefly associated with the Surrealists in Paris. He was a professor of sculpture at the Royal College of Art and Chelsea School of Art. He won honours from the British Academy. He received the Erasmus Prize and two awards of the British Empire, the Companion of Honour (CH) and Order of Merit (OM). In 1948, he won the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale.
During the artist’s life, several significant retrospectives of his work were organised, including at the New York MoMA. His studio in Perry Green was frequented by young sculptures, curious to see how he worked. Today this studio is the seat of the Henry Moore Foundation and houses a museum dedicated to the artist, as well as an open-air sculpture gallery. His first exhibition in Poland, in 1959, occupies an important place in the history of Polish exhibitions. The exhibition was presented in Kraków, among other places, and enjoyed huge success and was widely covered by the media. The exhibition planned for the National Museum in Krakow, “The Power of Nature”, is expected to be one of the most important cultural events of 2019. It is rare that such world-renowned classics of 20th-century art are exhibited in Kraków. Moreover, the growing interest in the aesthetics of public spaces is sure to mean that the works of the artist, who so masterfully shaped that public space, will be met with great interest.
The works of Henry Moore can currently be seen at the National Museum in Wrocław until 23 January 2019. Curators: Hannah Higham (Henry Moore Foundation), Agata Małodobry (NMK) Coordinator: Ewa Kalita (NMK)
THE EXHIBITION HAS BEEN ORGANISED IN COOPERATION WITH THE HENRY MOORE FOUNDATION