Friday, October 8, 2010

A display of Henry Moore sculptures

The past several mornings have been cooler than previous ones, and the days about ten to fifteen degrees cooler. This morning there was evidence of some rain during the night, and there's been dew on the grass, a sign of higher relative humidities. But, other than a few haiku, my writing hasn't benefited from the changes.

But I did go to the Denver Botanic Garden's the other day--Kathy is out of town visiting our daughter and her family down in Denton, Texas. I've been trying to get Kath to go with me, but she always seems to have an excuse. So I went by myself. For the past eight or nine months, the DBG has had an exhibit of Henry Moore sculptures outside in the gardens. His sculptures are massive, and it took several cranes to get the works in place. What a wonderful show.

As you enter the gardens, this piece is the first you see. It is massive, but, as with all Moore's work, it is also light and delicate. I don't know how he did that, but the exhibit is breath taking.

Then, as you turn to follow the route depicted on the guide, you come upon another piece that is even more stylistic in nature, but equally impressive. In the literature about Moore and his work, he had the idea that his work should be displayed in gardens, outdoors, and I'd have to agree with him. The Gardens will keep this display for a year so viewers can see the work in all four seasons, with the foliage changing with the seasons. I'm going to head back over when it snows to see what that does for the pieces.

My favorite pieces are the mother and child statues. One, a small one, is displayed on a pedestal out in a pond with water lilies. It is beautiful, even if a bit far away. You can walk right up to most of them--but don't touch. I shared these pictures with a friend, and her comments say it better than I can: "beautiful   tender   sensous   sexual   full of love and life."

This reclining mother and child seems to portray all the attributes of Moore's work for me. The figures are stylized yet recognizable for what they are. The mother's love for the child is evident even though no facial features show. The relaxed pose on the mother and her child's gaze back at her say it all. This piece is huge. If mom stood up, she'd be taller than all basketball centers on pro teams. Huge piece.

Other pieces are more abstract, but very worth spending time with. Here is a piece called knife edge. And the piece below is called Hill Arches.

It is a huge piece, placed in a pond where its reflection makes it even more imposing. The fall colors in the leaves enhance the weathered copper of the piece, I think. You can get a sense of its size by the size of the benches and arches behind it.

One of my favorite of the more abstract pieces is one called "Locking Piece." It is massive, but the fact that you can see between the pieces seems to give it an airy, light feeling. At least it does for me. But then some people, including my wife and kids, think I'm weird--right Al? Note the size of the planter to the right, at the base of the piece.

So, I think I found a great way to spend a Wednesday afternoon. The Moore gallery is worth going to see and going back to see. Now if I can just get Kath to go when she gets home from Texas. After all the excitement of Denton, however, she may not be up for more excitement. ;-)