British Sculptor Barbara Hepworth Is Getting Her First Solo Survey In Paris
The retrospective, organised in partnership with Tate Gallery, will include a selection of abstract sculptures that testify to Hepworth's monochromatic exploration of size, shape, texture and shape.
Among them are the hollowed-out "Pelagos," whose spiral shape was influenced by the seascape of St Ives in Cornwall where the British sculptor moved with her husband Ben Nicholson in the late 1930s.
Hepworth notably created some of her most highly prized sculptures in her Cornish studio in Trewyn, which will be partially recreated for the exhibition at the Musée Rodin.
They included the five-ton work "Single Form" that was erected outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York in 1964, as a memorial to the second Secretary-General and art patron Dag Hammarskjöld.
Her revolutionary aesthetic, which ultimately led to the introduction of "the hole" to British sculpture, derived from a technique known as direct carving.
This approach, popularised by Constantin Brancusi in the late 1910s, was notably influenced by the doctrine of truth to materials, with the artist favouring simple forms to expose the material itself.
"Many have spoken of the sensuality contained in my sculptures despite the outward classical and disciplined exterior. All want to touch, and that is as it should be," Hepworth wrote to her friend Phillip James, who was also the director of art at the UK's Art Council, in 1946.
Although little known in France, Hepworth showed her work in various international exhibitions, including at London's Tate Gallery and the 25th edition of Venice Biennale in 1950. She also won the Grand Prix at the São Paulo Biennial in 1959.
The Musée Rodin was one of the few art institutions in France to have displayed Hepworth's sculptures in her lifetime, including during a group exhibition over 60 years ago.
The Parisian museum will present the retrospective "Barbara Hepworth" from November 5 through March 22, 2020.
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