Barbara Hepworth, or the woman who revolutionized abstract sculpture

Barbara Hepworth, or the woman who revolutionized abstract sculpture

British sculptor Barbara Hepworth was born in Yorkshire in 1903. She is a figure of the international art scene engaged in abstract sculpture.

She developed a passion for sculpture at the age of 17, when she attended the Leeds School of Art.

 

 

In 1932, a visit to the studios of Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, and Jean Arp inspired her to approach her career with vigor and clarity. Her work focuses on the abstract and favors the language of volumes and forms.

 

 

Her rounded sculptures in steel, stone, bronze, and wood are characterized by the play between convex and concave shapes. She sculpted directly into the material without models.

 

 

Concerned with abstraction, her art also deals with the relationships: between two forms, the human figure and the landscape, color and texture, and between people at the individual and social level.

 

 

As a woman in the male-dominated art world, Hepworth played an active role. She has always demanded to be treated as a sculptor in the masculine, rejecting the idea that women need a signifier of their gender and demanding that her legacy be part of the history of art and not just of the history of women's art.

Her legacy: having revolutionized sculpture and created more than 600 works as pure as they are poetic.

 

 

Photos credits: 

Photo 1: Barbara Hepworth. Photo: Tate

Photo 2: ”Spring”, Barbara Hepworth, 1966. Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones, Hepworth Wakefield

Photo 3: "Two Forms" , Barbara Hepworth, 1937 at The Hepworth Wakefield Barbara Hepworth. Photo: Bowness Photo, Hepworth Estate

Photo 4: ”Four figures waiting” Barbara Hepworth, 1968.

Photo 5: Barbara Hepworth, “Two figures (Menhirs)” 1944-1945. Photo: The Art Institute of Chicago

Photo 6: Barbara Hepworth. Photo: Frederick Charles Art