Listening to Art

01.11: Henry Moore, Large Two Forms

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Listening to Art, by William Denton.

Volume one, number eleven: Large Two Forms by Henry Moore.

Hello, and welcome to Listening to Art. I’m William Denton.

This issue is the second devoted to listening to the same sculpture in two different places.

Henry Moore came to Toronto in 1967 to celebrate his sculpture The Archer. As Roger Berthaud says in The Life of Henry Moore (p. 374), one of the private donors who had helped buy it suggested to ex-mayor Philip Givens, “Why don’t you ask the old guy what he’s going to do with all his sculptures? Maybe we can get it after he dies.” Givens declined to ask, but the donor did, and seven years later (which included some problems with a Moore donation to the Tate Gallery) the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It is still there today, and holds about 900 works by Moore, including about 150 sculptures.

One of the sculptures acquired at the time was Large Two Forms, which weighs eight metric tonnes. In 1973 it was placed at the southwest corner of Dundas and McCaul, just outside the Art Gallery of Ontario. That is where issue number ten was recorded. It was a very popular, much-loved piece of public art, used as a meeting place, a scene for photography and a playground for children. It was not even necessary to go into the gallery to see this major work: anyone passing by on foot, in a car or on a streetcar would see it. Everyone in the city knows it.

In the summer of 2017 it was moved to Grange Park, on the south side of the AGO, which is a quieter location, away from traffic, surrounded by grass and trees. That is where this issue was recorded.

This is a sculpture, cast in bronze, fitting in a volume approximately 475 cm wide, 335 cm high and 475 cm deep.

Now let’s listen to Large Two Forms by Henry Moore, recorded in Grange Park, south of the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, on 25 September 2017.

That was Large Two Forms by Henry Moore. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

For more information and links to things I’ve mentioned, please visit listeningtoart.org.

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Bibliography

All web sites accessed as of 15 October 2017.