I remember going to an exhibition in around 1985 or 1986 at Leeds art gallery featuring the work of sculptor Jacob Epstein. You may be familiar with his work The Rock Drill that I first saw at the Tate. He moves between post apocalyptic, realistic, religious and voluptuous figures. I was completely fascinated especially since the gallery was quite small and you could get so close to the sculptures.
Jacob Epstein preceded Henry Moore and influenced his work. I didn’t ever really feel that much for Moore’s work, feeling a bit smug about discovering Epstein, which is probably why I have never been to Hoglands at Perry Green. This was Moore’s farm and now home to his foundation with a fantastic new visitor centre. It is just 45 minutes from where I live and now I could kick myself for not visiting sooner.
I went with my husband and 3D designer son on Saturday. The weather was amazing with huge fluffy clouds punctuating the blue sky and apple blossom everywhere. IT jus couldn’t have been a more perfect way to discover his work and marvel at the curves, his vision and drive.
A new exhibition called Becoming Henry Moore is brilliantly curated to include the artists and teachers who influenced him as well as his contemporaries to give his work context. The exhibition included early South American carvings from the British Museum as well as Modigliani, Hepworth, Epstein, Brancusi and other names I can’t remember. I just couldn’t help smiling as I wondered round just captivated by the richness of inspiration all gathered together in two rooms.
If you do get a chance I can’t recommend this exhibition highly enough. It is immersive, interesting, historical, inspirational and plain joyful.