This was the first predominantly open-air exhibition in London of Henry Moore’s sculptures.
This exhibition of Moore’s work was mounted both within the gallery and in the surrounding park, offering a representative selection of Moore’s recent works in every size and material.
Ten of his large bronze sculptures were displayed throughout Kensington Gardens. These works, and many of the fourteen stone and wood carvings shown inside the Serpentine Gallery, were made in the 1970s and almost unseen in Britain.
The exhibition was curated by David Sylvester and Susan Grayson, with Moore himself as placement advisor for his outdoor sculptures.
Two years after the exhibition, Moore presented the work The Arch (1980) – a six-metre high Roman travertine sculpture situated on the north bank of the Long Water – to the nation for Kensington Gardens. The sculpture was made from seven travertine stones weighing a total of 37 tonnes, sourced from a quarry in northern Italy. The Arch was taken down in 1996, was restored, and in 2012 was repositioned in its original location in Kensington Gardens by The Royal Parks and The Henry Moore Foundation. A fibreglass version of the sculpture was featured in the Serpentine’s exhibition of 1978, and it was the popularity of this piece that resulted in Moore making the marble version gift. A bronze version can be found at Moore’s home in Perry Green, while a fibreglass version can be found in the gardens at RHS Wisley.