‘Anticipatory Forms: Henry Moore and post-war British furniture design’ in P. Curtis, (ed.) Figuring Space: Sculpture/Furniture from Mies to Moore, (Leeds, Henry Moore Institute, 2007) pp. 57-68. ISBN 9781905462117
This book chapter was an invited contribution to the publication accompanying the exhibition 'Figuring Space: Sculpture/Furniture from Mies to Moore' at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds 18 January – April 2007.
Its purpose was to explore the relationship between the organic forms of mid twentieth century sculpture and the ideals of post-war furniture design, exposing the formal and ideological intent that connected them. Starting with the remit of the exhibition, which was to instate a visual dialogue between sculpture, furniture and architecture, this essay and the one it accompanied by Joseph Giovannini, pursued the discussion in a textual dimension. The essay focused on the need to furnish those participating in the mass activities of postwar society, be it in schools, exhibitions and other public spaces, in an idiom appropriate for the modernising agenda of post-war architects, planners and politicians. Innovation in materials driven by the demands of modern conflict, as well as a restriction in the supply of conventional furniture-making materials, brought about an unprecedented opportunity; an opportunity that had a brief moment of impact in the years defined by the post-war Labour administration.
This essay built on debate generated by the 2005 conference ‘Sculpture and Design’ convened by Moriarty with Gillian Whiteley. It also drew on thinking in this arena that led to the 2007 exhibition 'The Sculpture of Bernard Schottlander' and the accompanying essay, also published by the Henry Moore Institute.
Culture 24 - Review by Gill Howard