Henry Moore’s Daughter Attacks Damien Hirst As A Major Setback To British Art

According to the daughter of Henry Moore – the artist who transformed the nature of British sculpture forever – Damien Hirst has set back art by 100 years. Mary Moore said her father had challenged the narrative and how art was formally-presented, which had dated back to the Victorian era.

“What he did was come along and take it out of the frame in a very weird way,” she told the Guardian. “I think Damien Hirst put it back in the bloody frame and art is all now in the frame and what you forget is how radical it is that it’s not in the frame. [Henry Moore’s art] is not narrative, it’s not contextual, it is about exploring the invented object in front of you.”

Moore continued, stating that the issue with the work of Hirst and others was that it relied on title and the white cube space it was in, she said. It was much more about having to read the label to know what was going on. On the other-hand Henry Moore’s work centred on the viewer confronting an unusual sculpture created from the instinct of the artist.

“Art has gone back into a frame, it has gone back to being a contextual, narrative thing which is actually where we were with the pre-Raphaelites,” she said.

Moore added that she worried, in the digital age, that we were losing our skills to see things properly. “We don’t look at things, it’s terrifying, it’s happening more and more and more. People see two-dimensionally on their phones and laptops and iPads; they don’t see shapes or understand form. My father always used to say: ‘How would you draw my hand, this side is dark, this side is lit.’ He was constantly making you think about form.”

Damien Hirst recently celebrated Valentine’s Day in the form of a pop-up exhibition at Paul Stolper, presenting LOVE, an exhibition of prints and sculptural editions by the artist. The show was widely criticised for its lack of depth, and cynical attempt to cash in on the celebrations. The Guardian accusing to artist of being greedy, and even lazy in his practice. Artlyst pointed out the heady days of the Young British Artist’s movement, and how the artist had ‘started at the end’, you can read our opinion here.

Moore said she of her father’s work – before a major exhibition exploring the artist’s relationship with land, that will be on indoor and outdoor display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, including a room curated by Moore offering a personal insight into how her father worked – that she hoped the exhibition would encourage people “to explore what is in front of them with an open mind and in a fresh way, so that they might re-evaluate or see things that they have never seen, understand things they have never understood. I hope it generates excitement about sculpture.”


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