The Drawings of Barbara Hepworth

ISBN: 9781848221642
Artist(s): Barbara Hepworth
Author(s): Alan Wilkinson
Format: hardback
Year published: June 2015
Publisher: Lund Humphries
Total Pages: 144
Illustrations: 100 colour & 25 B&W images

Artist(s) Biographies:


Barbara Hepworth (1903−1975), to many the greatest female sculptor in the history of Western art, is widely considered to be one of the most important British artists of the 20th century and a key figure in the development of British modernism. As the first in-depth and fully illustrated survey of Hepworth’s drawings and oil paintings in nearly fifty years, and the first to feature drawings from all periods, this book will fill a conspicuous gap in Hepworth scholarship.

Identifying the art and artists and the landscapes and seascapes that informed Barbara Hepworth’s drawings, Alan Wilkinson provides an in-depth analysis of a remarkable body of work. Starting with the few surviving sculptural life studies of the 1920s, the author guides the reader through the five decades of Hepworth’s drawing career. Key works include the few drawings for sculpture from the 1930s, the accomplished abstract drawings with colour of the early 1940s, and fascinating hospital drawings created between 1947 and 1949. Later works reflect the importance of landscape to Hepworth, with place names included in many of the titles, despite the images being evocative, rather than literal depictions of landscape motifs.

Comparative images help to substantiate the narrative and document direct influences and visual affinities with the work of Moore, Nicholson, Gabo and the Parisian avant-garde. With stunning imagery throughout, some of which has not been published before, and Hepworth’s own writings included, this publication is essential reading for scholars, artists and the many collectors of Hepworth’s drawings, as well as all those interested in the history of 20th-century British art.


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