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Major new commission by Tacita Dean opens

27 May 2021

As part of Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life, we have commissioned two leading British artists to create new installations. These interventions highlight Hepworth's work as an enduring source of inspiration and celebrate her artistic legacy. 

Tacita Dean: Significant Form

Tacita Dean was introduced to the work of Barbara Hepworth and the St Ives School of artists while studying at Falmouth School of Art. She found a particular affinity with Hepworth’s interest in Cornish landscapes, the natural rock formations, the coastal paths and the ancient standing stones. Like Hepworth, Dean is also drawn to the notion of ‘truth to materials’, observing: ‘The medium itself will give you something entirely unexpected, and something far better than you intended.’ By using analogue materials and techniques, Dean is guided by the specific qualities of the mediums she works with, embracing the unpredictability of the making process.

For the new commission Significant Form, Dean has selected 130 postcards from her found postcard collection, which she has gathered at flea markets over many decades. The images have been re-photographed and photochemically hand-printed at various scales and on a variety of papers. Inspired by her shared interests with Hepworth, Dean selected images that depicted a representation of, or potential for, sculptural form, creating an intuitive journey through objects and formations found in the natural world, to others made by artists across time. Presented without attribution or explanation, Dean’s free-flowing constellation of images encourages the viewer to follow their own readings and associations.