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Gallery 1

The works in this gallery are largely drawn from Yorkshire collections, highlighting both the county’s support of Hepworth throughout her career and the artist’s lifelong connection with her place of birth.

Forms of Life

‘The forms which have had special meaning for me since childhood have been the standing form (which is the translation of my feeling towards the human being standing in landscape); the two forms (which is the tender relationship of one living thing beside another); and the closed form, such as the oval, spherical or pierced form (sometimes incorporating colour) which translates for me the association of meaning of gesture in landscape; in the repose of say a mother & child, or the feeling of the embrace of living things, either in nature or in the human spirit.’ Barbara Hepworth

Looking back on her work, Hepworth identified three important sculptural forms to which she continually returned. The ‘standing form’, the ‘two forms’ and the ‘closed form’ are represented in this gallery in sculptures made over four decades. The human figure is made abstract, and then tentatively re-emerges. The artist’s use of a variety of materials, from different stones and woods through to bronze, reveals her interest in colour and surface, and how the intrinsic properties of each material work in harmony with the form. Hepworth associated the shapes of her sculptures with specific physical and emotional experiences, such as a figure standing at the top of a hill, or a mother holding a child. Much of Hepworth’s art and life attempts this synthesis of material and idea, the singular and the universal.

Take a tour of Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life with Google Arts & Culture


Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life by Eleanor Clayton. Buy online

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With special thanks to our 10th anniversary circle:

And all those who wish to remain anonymous.