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Exhibition reveals Henry Moore as ‘darker, edgier than we realise’

February 24, 2010

Curator says first major exhibition devoted to British artist since 1988 will show that there is more to him than his female figures

Reclining Henry Moore

While he is best known for his sculptures of reclining women, Henry Moore also produced ‘darker and more complex work’ as a Tate Britain exhibition will show

Henry Moore, Britain’s best known and most important sculptor, is often seen as a buttoned-up Yorkshireman whose work is as easygoing and safe as it gets. But a new exhibition opening tomorrow reveals his demons: this is a man much darker, edgier and more complex than we realise, say curators.

Tate Britain tomorrow opens the most important exhibition of Moore works for a generation. It hopes to surprise those who think they know Moore – and he is mostly known for his enormous postwar outdoor sculptures – as well as introducing him to a whole new audience.

More than 150 works, including stone sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes and drawings, have been gathered for what is also one of Tate Britain’s longest exhibitions in recent memory – it will run for almost six months. A spokeswoman said it was “an experiment” and the hope was the show would attract more overseas visitors during the summer.

Chris Stephens, the show’s co-curator, called it reassessment, or “a revisiting”. He said the exhibition was setting out to show there is much more to the artist than his easily recognisable gently rounded female figures and abstract forms. Familiarity with the artist had almost bred contempt, he said. “We think we know Henry Moore because he is still so visible and recognisable and also still so popular.”

Read more at: Dark matter

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