Barbara Hepworth and the Development of British Modernism
For the 2014 edition of the Fair we introduced our first museum partnership, providing award-winning gallery The Hepworth Wakefield with a space to exhibit works from their collection within the Fair.
The Hepworth Wakefield now holds the collection of the former Wakefield Art Gallery. Founded in 1934, from its outset the Wakefield Art Gallery had an ambitious contemporary collecting policy which encouraged the acquisition of works by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore – both born in the Wakefield District – and their contemporaries.
Key works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and their contemporaries featured in the unique exhibition at London Art Fair 2014 entitled, 'Barbara Hepworth and the Development of British Modernism'.
Curated by Frances Guy, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield, the exhibition featured a selection of exceptional works drawn from the gallery's collection.
Amongst other works, Hepworth was represented in the exhibition by an early sculpture, 'Kneeling Figure', 1932. This key work not only demonstrates Hepworth's skill as a carver and appreciation for materials, but in its primitive, simple style, can be seen as an early step towards the abstract language of form, which was vital to British Modernist sculptors.
Other artists included in the exhibition were Hepworth's second husband Ben Nicholson alongside their artist friends such as Henry Moore, with whom Hepworth studied at Leeds College of Art and later the Royal College of Art, London.
Also featured were artists associated with St Ives, the artists' colony in Cornwall where Hepworth and Nicholson moved before the outbreak of World War ll. This pioneering group includes Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and John Wells among others.
ABOUT THE HEPWORTH WAKEFIELD
'One of the top 50 art galleries in the world'
Yorkshire’s award-winning gallery, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, opened to the public in May 2011 and was officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex in 2012. The UK’s largest purpose-built gallery in over 50 years, it celebrates the achievements of one of Britain’s most significant sculptors, Barbara Hepworth, in the city in which she was born and raised.
The Hepworth Family Gift, gifted to Wakefield by the Hepworth Estate through the Art Fund, is a unique display of surviving prototypes in plaster and aluminium from Barbara Hepworth’s second studio in St Ives. This permanent display also includes a fascinating collection of tools, models, photographs and archives that illuminate the way in which she worked and approached her commissions.
Since opening, more than 900,000 visitors have flocked to enjoy a year-round changing programme of collection displays, temporary exhibitions and events. The gallery has recently opened a new 600m² contemporary art space located in a 19th century former textiles mill - The Calder, with an inaugural exhibition by artist Roger Hiorns. This new addition to The Hepworth Wakefield continues to reaffirm Yorkshire as major destination for art lovers.
The Hepworth Wakefield is a registered charity and admission is free. Visit our website to find out more about our collection, exhibition programmes and our new contemporary art space, The Calder.
Barbara Hepworth, 'Kneeling Figure', 1932. Rosewood. Courtesy of The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection) ©Bowness, Hepworth Estate (photograph: Norman Taylor)
Henry Moore, 'Pit Boys at Pithead', 1942, pencil, pen and ink, wax coloured crayon and watercolour wash on paper. Courtesy of The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection, presented by WAAC, 1947). Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation (photograph: Norman Taylor)
Bridge over the weir leading to The Hepworth Wakefield.
Photograph: Hufton and Crow
Installation photograph, Hepworth Family Gift Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield.
Photograph: Hufton and Crow