Large Interior Form, 1983
Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Following his service in the military, Henry Moore attended the Leeds College of Art, where he met and befriended Barbara Hepworth. Both would emerge as leaders in the development of abstract sculpture in Great Britain during the 1930s and 1940s. Moore once commented, “there are universal shapes to which everyone is subconsciously conditioned and to which they can respond if their conscious control does not shut them off.” Moore’s abstract biomorphic forms invite comparisons with ancient art and forms created by cultures outside of the “Western” tradition, such as the Mesoamerican Chac Mool.
While his early works tended to be carved in stone and wood, Moore later shifted to bronze, the material used to create the 16-foot high Large Interior Form. Many of his works feature voids, which emphasize the three-dimensionality of the sculpture by connecting one side with the other. Moore was also influenced by the Surrealists during the 1930s, often collecting stones, bones, twigs and shells and using them as a point of departure for his compositions.