During the late 1930s Henry Moore visited the Science Museum several times. He was influenced by the mathematical string models, some of which are still on display in nearby cases.
Moore was delighted by the interplay of surfaces, straight lines and curves in the models, and immediately started adding string to his work.
During the 1930s many artists in Britain sought inspiration in the sciences, and in particular in mathematics. Abstract painters and sculptors thought the forms explored by mathematicians revealed underlying structures of reality. At the same time surrealists such as Man Ray revelled in the strangeness of mathematical objects.
Moore was associated with both the abstract artists and surrealists, but found their theories too limiting. For him the mathematical models were sometimes strange, sometimes profound, and they also recalled human shapes. Most importantly, they could be viewed from all sides, with no two angles alike.
This display is part of an exhibition at two London venues, the Science Museum and the Royal Society, both under the auspices of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
The exhibition has been curated by Barry Phipps, Churchill College Cambridge with assistance from Jane Wess and Boris Jardine of the Science Museum.
The exhibition will run until 20 June