Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | May 29, 2010

Atom Piece or Nuclear Energy




I have always paid great attention to natural forms , such as bones, shells, and pebbles, etc. Sometimes for several years running I have been to the same part of the seashore – but each year a new shape of pebble has caught my eye, which the year before, though it was there in hundreds, I never saw.. ..Pebbles show Nature’s way of working stone. Some of the pebbles I pick up have holes right through them.. ..A piece of stone can have (for the sculptor, fh) a hole through it and not be weakened – if the hole is of a studied size, shape and direction. On the principle of the arch, it can remain just as strong. -The sculptor speaks (1937), as quoted in Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock

All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she looks but they don’t really, you know.- Elizabeth Day, The Moore Legacy

Henry Moor is one of the greatest Sculptor of twentieth century who searched for the possibilities of matter-the medium. He sculpted at the point of sculpting, every inch of surface he won at the point of chisel. He sculpted the forms in its utter beauty. His geometrical forms, his seated figures, reclining figures, women and child all have a magic; these are the expression of love and devotion. In all these Moor is famous for his reclining figures and Mother and Child. He had very emotional relationship with mother and child that perhaps western society was started missing at that time and he was reminding to the people. He was in search for the primitiveness in human nature and forms. The egoety, solidity and firmness of his sculptures speaks of something that other sculptors of his time didn’t possess.

The Sculpture that I have posted titles ‘Atom Piece’ is in bronze. The sculpture was commissioned by the B. F. Ferguson monument fund. It is installed in the campus of the University of Chicago at the site of world’s first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1. The sculpture was erected for and dedicated at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the splitting of the atom on the grounds by Enrico Fermi in December 2, 1942.

This is the only sculpture that Moor made on the subjects like Atom Bomb. Sculpture suggests the cloud form that rises after Atomic explosion. Usually his sculptures are inspired by nature but this is one that is about mechanical forces. He beautifully transforms the image or form of cloud into a human scull suggesting how mechanical forces could destroy our fantasies and imaginations. It symbolizes those evil forces of our time that could lead us to absolute destruction of human beings -‘end of man’.

—Henry Moore-Atom Piece (Working Model for Nuclear Energy) 1964-65, In Helsinki.

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