The Henry Moore Exhibition in Landerneau

We had done a lot of walking during the past ten days and wanted a rest day so we went to Landerneau to see the Henry Moore Exhibition at the Hélène and Éduard Leclerq Foundation. The Foundation stages a major art exhibition annually and in the years we have visited Brittany we have enjoyed Giacometti, Chagall, Picasso, and now Henry Moore. The exhibitions, in this small town in the west of Brittany shame London!

The covered bridge in Landerneau, and the old port

The covered bridge in Landerneau, and the old port

Henry Moore: Large reclining figure (1984)

Henry Moore: Large reclining figure (1984) overlooking the old port

The Exhibition proposes that Henry Moore (1898-1986) concentrated on three themes in his work: ‘…the reclining figure, the mother and child, and the internal/external form…’. Two reclining figures greeted us as we walked into the courtyard of the Foundation, an old convent.

Helene & Eduard Leclerq Foundation, Landerneau

The courtyard of the Helene & Eduard Leclerq Foundation, Landerneau

Henry Moore: Draped reclining figure (1952-53)

Henry Moore: Draped reclining figure (1952-53)

Inside the exhibition hall it was this huge reclining figure which I particularly enjoyed.

The drawings surprised me – I loved them, and they reminded me of drawings in the Picasso exhibition. Henry Moore was engaged by the War Artists Advisory Committee to record the people sheltering in the underground in London during WWII. He made notes from which he later made the drawings. His clearly found it a disturbing experience.

Henry Moore drawing

Henry Moore: Reclining nude (1931)

Henry Moore: Reclining nude (1931)

Henry Moore: Drawings from the underground shelters

Henry Moore: Drawings from the underground shelters

The exhibition has several ‘Mother and child’ statues, as well as family groups. This statue was placed outside, in the courtyard of the Foundation, but I don’t think this photograph really captures the protectiveness of the figure which I saw from another angle, as I was leaving.

Henry Moore: Mother & Child, block seat (1983-84)

Henry Moore: Mother & Child, block seat (1983-84)

Henry Moore: Family Group (1948-49)

Henry Moore: Family Group (1948-49)

The idea of internal/external was striking and although I can’t say I ‘understand’ these pieces I do like them.

Henry Moore: Internal/external form (1952-53)

Henry Moore: Internal/external form (1952-53)

Henry Moore: Internal/external form (1952-53)

Henry Moore: Internal/external form (1952-53)

Henry Moore: Interior Form (1981)

Henry Moore: Interior Form (1981)

Henry Moore: Knife Edge (1961)

Henry Moore: Knife Edge (1961)

But there were also unexpected pleasures, like the two women looking at the sculpture of sheep and clearly wondering about it! And the small pieces were surprising too.

Henry Moore: Working model for Sheep piece (1971)

Henry Moore: Working model for Sheep piece (1971)

And perhaps most surprisingly, a broken warrior figure. Henry Moore enlisted in WWI in 1917, when he was 18 and a half, serving in the 15th (County of London) Battalion London Regiment, also known as the Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles. He fought in the battle of Cambrai where the battalion was reduced by more than half and he was one of the victims of mustard gas poisoning, and sent home. This clearly had a strong influence on a young man.

Henry Moore: Warrior (1953-54)

Henry Moore: Warrior (1953-54)

An absolutely stunning exhibition! London, hang your head!