Lot Details

Henry Moore’s “Upright Motive: Maquette no. 9” is a fantastic example from the artist’s breakthrough work from the mid 1950’s. Abandoning drawing almost entirely in favor of small sculptures cast in bronze, Moore embraced a solely three-dimensional approach to his creative process. By exploiting the immediacy of these three dimensional maquettes, Moore uniquely captured the spontaneity of the media, which would then be translated to a larger scale. While intimate and subtle, “Upright Motive: Maquette no. 9” has a rather monumental quality in its open, towering, biomorphic composition, and Moore personally applied the acid to patina each example. The series of “Upright Motive” maquettes were originally conceived as studies for a public work for the courtyard of the Olivetti building in Milan. Moore wanted to depart from his horizontal compositions, and taking as their inspiration Northwest American totem poles, the “Upright Motive” works added a radical, new vertical element to Moore’s sculpture, with the organic human figure emerging directly from the pedestal or base. As Moore himself described this series:

“I started by balancing different forms one above the other-with results rather like the Northwest American totem poles - but as I continued the attempt gained more unity also perhaps became more organic”

“Upright Motive: Maquette no.9” presents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a highly sought after sculpture by Moore. Other examples from his 1955 “Upright Motive: Macquette” series can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY; the Tate Gallery in London, England; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, CA; the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC; the Guggenheim Museum in New York, NY; the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA.

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Publication: -A.Bowness, Henry Moore Sculpture 1955-64, Vol.3, No. 389, (Another casting illustrated. p.22) -Henry Moore: sculpture and drawings, Volume 3
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  • Provenance: Marlbourogh Gallery, Inc. New York Private Collection, EU
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Henry Moore, March-April, 1962
  • Pickup Location: Austria
  • Shipping Dimensions: 9.8 x 0 in. (24.89 x 0 cm.)

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