Helmet Heads: Power and Mystery in the Sculpture of Henry Moore
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A grand protagonist of the XX Century shows off a lesser-known aspect - Henry Moore, on display at the Wallace Collection, with sculptures from the series Helmet Heads, together in an unprecedented exhibition. Drawings, sketches, moquettes and large-scale models enrich an itinerary that offers a look at the creative process of a modernist master. Yet, even more interesting is the fact that the exhibition takes place right in the very place that gave Moore his first inspiration - if it is, indeed, true that, as a child, the future sculpture had already been charmed by the figures of medieval warriors in the churches of Yorkshire, it was in the halls of the Wallace Collection that, as a student, he would develop an outright fixation with the ancient helmets on display among the other marvels of a museum hosting a broad range of works from Canaletto to Rembrandt to Velàsquez, from miniatures to jewellery. Next to works placed on display in collaboration with the Henry Moore Foundation, visitors are able to admire the very objects that stimulated the artist’s fantasy - priceless helmets and armour from ancient Greece and the Renaissance, but also equipment from the so-called “Great War” in which Moore took part personally. The exhibition highlights the impact that these pieces had on the imagination of the sculptor - the ideas of force, protection and vulnerability and their transformation into pure forms, but also the influence of these themes on works that have nothing to do with war, from the Reclining Figure to the various versions of Mother and Child.