Henry Moore ( British, 1898 - 1986 )
Over the course of his prolific career, Henry Moore drew inspiration from sculpture produced around the globe, across all time periods. A frequent visitor to the British Museum, he studied Cycladic, early Greek, Etruscan, and Egyptian sculptures, as well as art from Oceania, Africa, and Peru, among other places. Like many of his peers, including Constantin Brancusi, Moore was a dedicated proponent of carving directly into stone or wood, and respecting the materials’ intrinsic qualities. Here Moore emphasized the translucence of veined alabaster. Diminutive yet monumental in presence, Half-figure was strongly informed by the artist’s study of Inuit ivory carvings, and perhaps also Senufo rhythm-pounder figures. Elegant in its distortion of the female form, the sculpture reveals Moore’s fusion of diverse cultural traditions with 20th-century avant-garde styles such as Surrealism and abstraction.