Architecture, Art & Culture

Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World

Barbara Hepworth was a British sculptor, born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1903. She was a leading figure in the international art scene throughout a career spanning five decades, becoming a leading practitioner of Direct Carving. Hepworth preferred this method saying, “an idea for carving must be clearly formed before starting and sustained during the long process of working; also, there are all the beauties of several hundreds of different stones and woods, and the idea must be in harmony with the qualities of each one carved; that harmony comes with the discovery of the most direct way of carving each material according to its nature.”

Tate Britain’s retrospective of Hepworth’s work is described by Louisa Buck as “a unique opportunity to see some of Hepworth’s greatest works, gathered together.” The retrospective plays with the different spaces in which Hepworth presented her work – the show includes an impressive reconstruction of a modernist structure to showcase Hepworth’s ‘ideal’ environment.

Many of Hepworth’s sculptures explore the forms and shapes of the landscape and express the physical experience of being in the landscape – for example, the push and pull of the wind, the changing shapes and contours as you walk or the varieties of textures and patterning on rocks and vegetation.

The exhibition is at the Tate Britain until October 25th 2015. Hepworth’s work is also exhibited in Yorkshire at The Hepworth Wakefield and in St. Ives, Cornwall at the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.