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Dallas spotlights Moore's art

DALLAS — Two decades after the last major U.S. retrospective of British sculptor Henry Moore, his swelling shapes — some weighing more than 5,000 pounds — are on exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art.

"Henry Moore: Sculpting the 20th Century" is the largest showing in this country since an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983, three years before Moore's death.

More than 200 works will be featured, from 10-foot-tall bronzes to plaster models small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. Dozens of drawings span Moore's career, from early portraits to works made when he was an official World War II artist.

Moore, who died at age 88, is known for his large, abstract sculptures of the human figure. His work was influenced by the study of nature.

"Although it is the human figure which interests me most deeply, I have always paid great attention to natural forms, such as bones, shells and pebbles," he once said.

Moore created undulating extensions and rounded indentations from wood, stone, bronze and marble. Common themes include mother and child, reclining figures and surrealist bonelike shapes.

"As an artist, he was amazingly inventive," said David Finn, a close friend who photographed many of Moore's works. "He'd see a stone on the road or a twig and get an idea for a sculpture. His mind was constantly alert to new ideas."

Though his pieces were abstract, Moore created them so they could be seen from every angle.

"Moore used to say that a sculpture ought to look right from a man's-eye view, worm's-eye view or bird's-eye view," Finn said.

The Moore retrospective will continue in Dallas until May 27.