Page 19 - Studio International - March 1965
P. 19

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                                                                                      no  longer  recognizable.  The  modern  sculptor  must
                                                                                      invent  personal  idols,  whilst  we  who  want  neither
                                                                                      religion nor idols resist them. The resultant struggle is so
                                                                                      frustrating to the artist  that he often becomes hysterical
                                                                                      in his effort to involve us.
                                                                                       The  great  modern  sculptors  are  those  who  have
                                                                                      forged  an  original  idol-figure,  or  form,  which  has  the
                                                                                      power to communicate.  Henry  Moore once said  'There
                                                                                      are  universal  shapes  to  which  everyone  is  sub­
                                                                                      consciously  conditioned  and  to  which  they  can
                                                                                      respond  if  their  conscious  control  does not shut them
                                                                                      off.  The  less  articulated,  the  more  mysterious  these
                                                                                      forms  the  better.  Words, exactness, literal  descriptions,
                                                                                      when  probing  the  mysteries  are  dangerous  and
                                                                                      in  the long  run  destructive.
                                                                                       Moore's  great  achievement  has  been  that  with  no
                                                                                      national  tradition,  in the face of  spiritual  and tempera­
                                                                                      mental  distrust  of  the  three-dimensional  form,  he
                                                                                      performed  the seemingly impossible task  of  creatirig a
                                                                                      personal  sculpture  which  embodies  the  English  tem­
                                                                                      perament as recognizably as does the art of Constable or
                                                                                      Gainsborough,  Wordsworth  or  Milton.  With  boldness
                                                                                      and courage he crnated his tradition from many pasts­
                                                                                      Mexico,  Greece,  Negro  art,  Mosaccio,  Picasso.  But  a
                                                                                      good  borrower  does  not  make  a  great  artist.  Like  a
                                                                                      medieval  alchemist  he  melted  down  the  gold  of  the
                                                                                      past to fashion something new and personal, yet at the
                                                                                      same time  distinctively  English  as well  as universal.  A
                                                                                      basic  ingredient  is  Moore's  humanism  and  the  sculp-
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