Henry Moore, Back to a Land, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton

From 7 March, Yorkshire Sculpture Park will reunite an expansive selection of work by British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) with the park’s vast and rolling landscape. In a major exhibition of over 120 iconic works, YSP, in partnership with The Henry Moore Foundation, will highlight Moore’s steadfast relationship with the land in Yorkshire and his unwavering exploration of the interplay between internal and external spaces of the human body and the earth.

A founding patron of the YSP’s award-winning international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture, Moore was committed to experimenting with the radical notion of placing sculpture in the landscape. A permanent feature of the museum’s collection, the artist’s bronze sculptures, currently installed in the open-air Country Park, will be offered a renewed perspective through an extensive display of sculptures, maquettes and rarely seen works on paper in YSP’s Underground gallery. Taking its title from Jacquetta Hawkes’ pivotal and poetically historical book A Land (1951), Back to a Land will generate an intrinsic dialogue between Moore’s monumental sculptures Large Two Forms (1966-69) and Large Reclining Figure (1984), and his exploratory models, drawings and etchings such as Rocky Landscape (1982), Reclining Figure in Dark Landscape (1979–80) and Elephant Skull (1970), to illustrate the artist’s fervent passion for rock formations in the earth and skeletal structures in the body.

Key themes of the exhibition will be contextualised by a display of personal artefacts, notes, sketches and photographs, carefully selected and curated by the artist’s only child Mary Moore. In this intimate presentation of Moore’s individual and ground-breaking visual vocabulary, Back to a Land will seek to engage viewers with a revival of the artist’s life-long explorations of both the human figure and the land – from his childhood upbringing in Castleford’s mining community and subsequent interest in geology, to his fascination with the interior spaces of the body. A celebration of Moore’s collaboration with the landscape in Britain, Back to a Land will also reflect on the sculptor’s seminal work in relation to contemporary works by fellow Land Artists such as David Nash and Andy Goldsworthy.

Henry Moore: Back to a Land, 7 March-6 September, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG.

To find out more visit www.ysp.co.uk.

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1. Henry Moore, Large Two Forms (1966–69). Courtesy of The Henry Moore Foundation.