Sculptures by Moore and Lichtenstein bring art to the city

SINGAPORE - For a small country with aspirations of making it big in the global arts scene, Singapore has for many years already been home to impressive works of art by big-name international artists.

Among these are specially commissioned, monumental sculptures by renowned British sculptor Henry Moore (1898 - 1986) and popular American artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923 - 1997).

Moore's stylised bronze sculpture, Large Reclining Figure 1983 (right), rests on a reflecting pool in the plaza of the OCBC Centre in Chulia Street.

The 4-tonne sculpture, which measures about 9m in length and 4m in height, is among the largest works by the prolific artist.

The reclining figure is also an enduring motif in Moore's oeuvre, which is dominated by simplified forms and influences from non-Western carving and art.

The semi-abstract figure in the OCBC Centre plaza lies sideways, its sinuous lines reminiscent of the undulating landscape of the English countryside.

But it is not all smooth, rolling curves. The figure's lower half is marked by knobby, angular turns and its mid-section is shaped like a forked tongue.

The forward thrust of the figure's angular, lower half and the backward pull of its curving spine, however, conjure a sense of spatial equilibrium.

It also evokes an openness in the piece, which acts as a foil to the tense torso propped up at an oblique angle by arm-like extensions.

The work, channelling a state of active rest, may not be the desired portal of escape for weary office workers in Raffles Place who seek complete relaxation.

But it offers a realistic vision of solace in a financial world that never quite slumbers.

The piece is based on a much smaller lead cast made in 1938 that was later bought by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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