The Hepworth Wakefield gallery reopens with an exhibition that pays tribute to its eponym, Barbara Hepworth
Words by Sophie Tolhurst
Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life
21 May 2021–27 February 2022
The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire
Following its long closure in the last year, The Hepworth Wakefield gallery in Yorkshire will reopen in time to celebrate its tenth anniversary with a major exhibition celebrating its eponym, Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life.
Orpheus (Maquette 1), 1956. Image Credit: BOWNESS, HEPWORTH ESTATE / LEWIS RONALD
Hepworth with the gift plaster of Figure for Landscape and a bronze cast of Figure (Archaean), November 1964. Image Credit: LUCIEN MYERS
The most renowned works from across Hepworth’s career will be on display: the abstract carvings of the 1920s and 30s, the iconic string sculptures of the 1940s and 50s, and her later large-scale bronze and carved shapes. Key loans from national public collections and others from private collections – some of which haven’t been on public display since the 1970s – will share the space with rare drawings, paintings and fabric designs.
Genesis III, 1966. Image Credit: BOWNESS, HEPWORTH ESTATE / VAL WILMER
Hepworth at work on the plaster for Oval Form (Trezion), 1963. Image Credit: BOWNESS, HEPWORTH ESTATE / JERRY HARDMAN-JONES
Thoughtful curation puts the Wakefield-born artist’s work of different periods ‘in dialogue’ with those of her contemporaries, such as Bridget Riley in the 1960s, as well as exploring Hepworth’s wide sphere of influences – ranging from space exploration, politics and religion, to music and dance. This, as well as the inclusion of contemporary commissions from Tacita Dean and Veronica Ryan exploring the themes and ideas that interested Hepworth throughout her life, means the exhibition offers a fuller picture of the artist’s life and work than ever before.