An image of Helmet head no. 2

Henry Spencer Moore

(England 30 Jul 1898 – 31 Aug 1986)

Helmet head no. 2

Not on display
Further information

Echoing the surrealism that was an early influence on the sculptor, this compact bronze merges mechanistic form with animistic feeling. Its owl-like outline and interrogative attitude make a direct demand on the viewer. Yet the secrecy of its internal voids and the implacability of its outward structures resist all dialogue. The enigmatic objects of Giacometti come to mind, redefined as they are by Moore's own brand of sculptural rationalism. Regardless of subject matter, and even at his most primitivistic, the English sculptor invested his work with a sense of composure and balance. 'Helmet head no. 2' rises with great solidity from a flange-like neck and throat. The shape suggests a Nazi helmet, unsurprising given Moore's deeply humanistic response to the sufferings occasioned by the Second World War. By contrast, his far more easeful bronze, 'Reclining figure: angles I' (1980) rests monumentally on its base outside the Gallery.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.

34.0 x 24.7 x 24.0 cm; 4.2 x 26.0 x 31.7 cm base
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Purchased 1955
Accession number
© The works are illustrated by kind permission of the Henry Moore Foundation and must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation