Happy Birthday Barbara Hepworth!
Posted on January 10 2017
Barbara Hepworth January 10th 1903 - May 20th 1975
Barbara Hepworth was not only one of the UK's most celebrated female artists but also one of the few female artists of her time to achieve international recognition.
Best known for her sculptures, Hepworth spent her career experimenting with the boundaries of figurative art and abstraction, creating her iconic forms from wood, marble and bronze.
Aware that no artist can truly recreate nature, she wanted her works to embody nature. She constantly worked to create what she regarded to be the purest forms, staying true to the materials she used - showing the texture of stone and the strength of metal etc.
During her later career, Hepworth began to explore negative space. She came to regard the voids in her sculptures to hold the same importance as the body. She wanted her sculptures to not only be viewed from the outside but from every angle, moving through and around the work to bring a natural fluidity and movement to the otherwise static art form.
Although primarily a sculptor, Hepworth created beautiful drawings to plan out and realise her sculptures. However, these are not simply sketches but stunning artworks in their own right, with intricate architectural-style details over bold brushstrokes of paint.
Hepworth herself considered her drawings to be more than just sketches, regarding them as ‘sculptures born in the disguise of two dimensions’.
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Barbara Hepworth was born in Wakefield, which is now home to the Hepworth Wakefield Museum - a contemporary art museum with an unrivalled collection of rarely exhibited Hepworth works.