This September, Hauser & Wirth presents rarely seen tapestries by Henry Moore. A series of five largescale tapestries will be shown, courtesy of the Henry Moore Family Collection, for the first time in Asia.
Renowned for his sculptures and drawings, Henry Moore was one of the few modern artists to extend his work into the realm of tapestry. The brilliance of the drawings is confirmed in their transition into large tapestries, seven or eight times the size of the original. These lost nothing of their power in the process, retaining all the textural qualities of the drawing, from a smudgy chalk line to a decisive pen stroke.
The presentation has been made possible due to the artist’s daughter, Mary Moore, who introduced her father to West Dean Tapestry Studio in 1976, and later helped to choose and oversee intimate watercolour drawings interpreted into life-size tapestries. The detailed textile works are the result of a true creative collaboration with highly skilled weavers led by Eva-Louise Svensson, dying wool to achieve precise colours and blending threads of a great variety of tones to adapt the artist’s original drawing media.
The works were created for the artist’s family and have not been exhibited publicly in over a decade. They were initially unveiled at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, in 1980, followed by a tour of New Zealand, America and Canada over the next five years. The theme of mother-and-child predominates many of the tapestries, following the birth of Moore’s first grandchild and continuing a larger line of enquiry into interior and exterior form which inspired the artist’s most celebrated sculptures. The sustained flow of commissions by Moore and his daughter of West Dean Tapestry Studio was a spectacular act of patronage, resulting in 23 tapestries made between 1976-86, supporting the immense craftmanship involved in the traditional weaving process.