Barbara HepworthIn Equilibrium
The doyenne of modernist sculpture, Barbara Hepworth was one of the leading British artists of her generation and the first woman sculptor to achieve international recognition. The first exhibition of her work in Australia, Barbara Hepworth: In Equilibrium brings together more than forty works from prestigious international and national collections, including sculptures in stone, wood, bronze and other metals and a select group of paintings. Introducing Australian audiences to her remarkable oeuvre, the exhibition has been developed in consultation with the Hepworth Estate and has been designed by award-winning architecture firm Studio Bright.
Married to the painter Ben Nicholson, from 1938 to 1951, Hepworth was a central figure in a network of major international abstract artists and closely linked with the School of Paris. From 1939 she was based in the creative community of St Ives, Cornwall, where she drew much inspiration from the natural environment. An early practitioner of the avant-garde method of direct carving, which dispensed with the tradition of preparatory models or maquettes, she later made large-scale cast and constructed sculptures. Her pioneering practice and technique of piercing the form had an enduring influence on the development of new sculptural vocabularies.
The exhibition demonstrates the shift in Hepworth’s approach from figurative and naturalistic to increasingly simplified and abstract forms. Though concerned with abstraction, she created work that was predominantly about relationships: between the human figure and the landscape; between forms presented side-by-side; between colour and texture; and between individuals and groups of people.
Have a first look at Barbara Hepworth: In Equilibrium with Head Curator Kendrah Morgan