Commercial considerations or metal thieves?
IS it the threat of the metal thieves or was it commercial considerations that led to the latest exhibition of Henry Moores 'Late Large Forms' of bronze sculptures to be shown inside the Gagosian Gallery, which occupies a warehouse near King's Cross Station? In the New York Times, in 1983, John Russell wrote: 'More than any other artist of our own time he (Moore) has been brought out of the museum and into the open and offered the gift of ubiquity.'
Now Henry Moore is being exhibited in a warehouse! Some believe that commerce is the reason the Gagosian has done this. Rachel Campbell-Johnson, The Times art critic, writes: 'It's an immensely expensive thing to achieve because these things weight tons, but it allows Gagosian to yoke itself to a big name. Everyone has heard of Henry Moore. They have put on some fantastic shows like this before, but it's all part of creating an image of themselves as linked to great artists.'
It seems that the boundaries between commercial galleries and museums are becoming increasingly blurred these days. Richard Calvocovessi, director of the Henry Moore Foundation, said: 'Galleries like Gagosian put on museum-quality shows which outweigh any doubts. And Moore did show in commercial galleries. But in the end, it was mostly the space that convinced us to do it - what it (Gagosian) could offer in terms of space and light.'
The opening reception was on Thursday, May 31st, from 6:00 to 8:00pm and the exhibition continues until Saturday, 18 August 2012. Henry Moore said: 'Everything I do, I intend to make on a large scale... Size itself has its own impact, and physically we can relate ourselves more strongly to a big sculpture than to a small one.' Henry Moore was born in West Yorkshire, England in 1898 and died in East Hertfordshire, England in 1986. His public commissions occupy university campuses, pastoral expanses and major urban centers in 38 countries around the world. His sculpture and drawings have been the subject of many museum exhibitions and retrospectives, including the Tate Gallery, London (1951); Whitechapel Gallery, London (1957); Tate Gallery, London (1968); Forte di Belvedere, Florence (1972); Tate Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery, London for the occasion of Moore’s eightieth birthday (1978); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1983); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (1987).
I still wonder if the move indoors has something to do with the prevalence of metal thieves in England: on the 12th, July 2012 it was reported that a 22-inch (56cm) high “Sundial” bronze sculpture by British sculptor Henry Moore has been stolen from outside the artist's former home, the latest in a string of thefts involving outdoor artworks by thieves thought to be cashing in on rising metal prices. Made up of two interlocking bronze crescents, Moore's 'Sundial 1965' is worth up to £500,000 ($770,000), police said. The sundial was the latest work by the abstract artist, who died in 1986 aged 88, to be targeted by thieves. 'We are deeply saddened about the loss of Sundial... We take our care of Henry Moore sculptures extremely seriously and have installed heightened security measures here in recent years,' said Richard Calvocoressi, director of the Henry Moore Foundation. Copper, bronze's main component, has more than doubled in price over the last three years leading to a steep rise in the theft of metal artwork, memorial plaques, as well as electrical cables and drain covers.