Negative Spaces 3: Barbara Hepworth

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Negative Spaces 3: Barbara Hepworth 

Undoubtedly one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th Century, Barbara Hepworth is currently being celebrated with a comprehensive exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh (until 2 October). 

Her work is a key example of the dramatic change in the way that sculpture was conceived in the modern era. Up until the 19th century, and regardless of the subject matter depicted, the overriding concerns of the sculptor were mass, volume and surface. From the earliest days of the 20th century it was the space that the work occupies which became important, and Hepworth explores this compelling idea in many ways. There is, of course, the 'question of the hole': was it she or Henry Moore who first pierced the solid form? Opinions vary, but both artists introduced these 'negative spaces' at around the same time. In this way they stopped the sculpture from being an obstruction to viewing what was beyond and behind the work, situating it more clearly in space, and making it a more organic part of the environment it occupies, whether seen indoors or out. She adopted more open forms, and used strings to imply connections through space of different elements of the work, and also made sculptures from diverse elements, which were themselves, of course, arranged in space. 

The exhibition, which originated at The Hepworth, Wakefield, and conceived in partnership with Tate St Ives (who oversee the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden) is a major retrospective. I was frustrated to miss it in Yorkshire, but am very glad to have a second chance to catch it in Edinburgh! 

Please remember, I do not record my talks.
Event finished
Via Zoom®
Mon 22nd Aug 2022
6:00pm BST
60 mins