A Matter of Form
New York, 537 West 24th Street
Presented in association with the Hepworth Estate, Barbara Hepworth: A Matter of Form brings together more than twentyfive sculptures and selected paintings spanning the artist’s career—from the 1930s through the 1970s. The exhibition reveals Hepworth’s legacy as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes a new essay on Hepworth and her impact on contemporary artists, written by Andria Hickey, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.
“Hepworth is certainly one of the most important figures in modern British sculpture; but, more than just a modernist, she vigorously pursued a mystical, spirit-conjuring approach to art making throughout her career,” said Marc Glimcher, Pace Gallery President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to showcase her work again in the U.S. and this exhibition, as well as Andria Hickey’s brilliant essay, will bring long-overdue attention to Hepworth’s innovative exploration of interiority and the phenomenology of material, as well as her overlooked impact on contemporary artists such as Tauba Auerbach, Carol Bove, Alice Channer, and Eva Rothschild.”
Embodying Hepworth’s investigations of abstraction and the body, A Matter of Form includes works in a range of media— from bronze and marble to mahogany and aluminum—as well as sculptures from across Hepworth’s thematic range—such as relationships between mother and child, man and nature, and the individual to the group. The impact of Hepworth’s ongoing commitment to the “direct carving” technique stands out throughout the exhibition. Rather than traditional casting, “direct carving” allowed Hepworth to pursue profound spiritual connections with her material.
On the relationship between her body and her material, Hepworth said: “My left hand is my thinking hand. The right is only a motor hand. This holds the hammer. The left hand, the thinking hand, must be relaxed, sensitive. The rhythms of thought pass through the fingers and grip this hand into the stone. It is also a listening hand. It listens for basic weaknesses or flaws in the stone; for the possibility or imminence of fractures.”
On view through April 21, 2018