Henry Moore required two and one half tons of molten bronze to cast his sculpture Draped Reclining Mother and Baby. Fortunately for the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at THE Getty, he had it. The end result is too big to look upon and live, but details are comprehensible, and so we continue our narrow study of hands in figural sculpture.
This particular hand is big enough to serve as a disgusting end table. But, after all, it needs to be big to protect and nourish the baby trusted to mom’s ponderous care. Baby is strapping: You can see the shins and feet of Baby Gort behind the loose fist.
Baby Gort’s feet are more footlike than you might expect from Moore. After finding the basic form of his subject as he does with those lil guys, Moore doesn’t usually stop there; he usually plays out the form like a jazz musician going at a melody. These feet are just simple feet.
But it’s the hand that really surprises me: Here Moore actually describes the fingers, knuckles and all. He can’t quite bring himself to separate the digits (maybe he never read an information card in an art museum about the “lost wax” technique) but still, it’s more like a hand — none of that blobby improv — than Mom’s head is like your average non-Gort head.
What does all this mean? Oh! So many things! And, you know, if I were writing a doctoral thesis instead of a web log I would tell you those things — with footnotes! — but I’m not, so I won’t.