Seated Woman
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© 2012 The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved. / ARS, New York / DACS, London
Gift of Fran and Ray Stark

Henry Moore
British, 1958 - 1959; Cast 1975
80 x 40 x 51 in., 1282 lb.

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Although willfully distorted, this large bronze form remains instantly identifiable as a seated woman. The figure's lower half has been reduced to a bulbous mass that rests atop a minimally articulated stool. The top half is more contorted, yet plainly recognizable as a female torso. The woman's head turns distractedly to one side and, though lacking in anatomical specificity, achieves a surprising degree of expression.

The creation of this sculpture reveals the lengthy gestation period that sometimes accompanied Henry Moore's work. In the late 1950s, he made a maquette or small plaster model of this seated figure. Once he had achieved the desired shape, one of Moore's studio assistants then carved a plaster mold of the maquette to be sent to a foundry for casting in bronze. But Moore, unsatisfied with the large mold, chose not to have it cast and continued to refine the plaster. It remained in his studio for many years and was finally cast in 1975--more than two decades after the original design was conceived.