In 1949 the United Kingdom wants to demonstrate its ability to restart through a Festival of Britain to be held in London in 1951. A monumental sculpture is commissioned to Henry Moore whose art appears in due course as daring and in rupture. The artist takes very seriously that invitation to create a masterpiece and all the development of this project is filmed by a cameraman.
By simplifying the shapes, Brancusi had left assimilating his sculpture to Cubism. The painters had tried to blend human figure, landscape and still life into a kind of abstraction that did not dare to admit this qualification. They had color. Moore as a sculptor uses the hollow.
Moore recognized as one of his major achievements the Reclining figure of the 1951 festival. The female form is recognizable. She is reclining on her back and begins some lifting on her forearms. Her legs have a realistic position but the belly is reduced to a frame. She is no more a woman but a harmony between material and space.
From the original plasterwork, this park monument 2.30 m long with an aesthetic highly innovative for its time was edited in bronze in five copies plus one artist's proof. One of these bronzes was sold for £ 19M including premium by Christie's in London on 7 February 2012. Another copy with a similar dark brown patina is awaited in the same auction room on June 30. It is estimated £ 15M, lot 8.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
SOLD for £ 24.7M including premium