The Hepworth Wakefield is opening its doors to the public. From 11am on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May, visitors can enjoy entertainment including, art and family activities by some of the region's top artists, performances by dance groups, music by local performers and much more. Visitors will see key work by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, as well as an exhibition by Eva Rothschild.
The Hepworth Wakefield is opening its doors to the public for the first time this Saturday 21 May from 11am and you are invited to join the celebrations.
From 11am on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May, visitors can enjoy FREE entertainment including, art and family activities by some of the region’s top artists, performances by dance groups, music by local performers and much more. Visitors will see key work by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, as well as an exhibition by Eva Rothschild.
EVA ROTHSCHILD: HOT TOUCH
21 May – 9 October 2011
Hot Touch presents a group of new and recent sculptures and photographs by Eva Rothschild. Her sculptures are made from a range of materials including fabric, leather and wood, bringing together the hand-made and the industrially produced. The works often combine the forms and strategies of modernist art – squares, triangles, holes and repetition – with an array of visual associations and symbols, such as totemic columns of piled heads and draped snakes.
This exploration of the power and meaning of objects produces an encounter between the minimal and the magical. Leaning against walls, suspended in mid-air, or balancing impossibly, Rothschild’s sculptures have an ambiguous and powerful presence, exploring universally recognised forms and symbols.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication with an essay by Prof. Anne Wagner, author of Mother Stone: The Vitality of Modern British Sculpture (Yale University Press, 2005). To coincide with the exhibition, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is showing Rothschild's work Someone & Someone, 2008.
Eva Rothschild will be in conversation on Thursday 16 June, 6.30 – 8pm, £5 (£3). To book
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01924 247360.
This gallery introduces Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture, celebrating the extraordinary breadth and quality of her work. These works foreground the connection between material, method and subject matter. The pierced and stringed form of Spring (1966) presents the familiar sculptural form and innovation of breaking open the solid object. The proud upright form of Figure (Nanjizal) (1958) retains a clear relationship to the original tree trunk and the landscape. The simply shaped marble of Cosdon Head (1949) uses incised lines to lightly describe the contours of a hand against the face. The clarity of the shapes of Cone and Sphere (1973) brings together abstract form with an allusion to the upright body, while the carved and painted Two Forms with White (Greek) (1963) presents two forms - both figures and objects - in conversation with each other.
From its opening in 1934 on Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield Art Gallery quickly developed to become one of the most forward thinking galleries of its time, with a reputation that belied its provincial status. Founded initially in 1923 with gifts from local industrialists, the gallery and its collection went on to support and collect works by some of the most significant British artists of the twentieth century.
This display explores the development of the collection and traces the influence of pioneering directors, Ernest Musgrave, Eric Westbrook and Helen Kapp. The gallery’s remarkable commitment to contemporary art is evident in works by artists including locally born Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore (1898-1986) alongside works by Hubert Dalwood (1924-1976), Bernard Meadows (1915-2005), Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) and John Piper (1903-1992).
This gallery looks at the work of Barbara Hepworth in relation to her European contemporaries and foregrounds the influence of direct carving on modern British sculpture. Barbara Hepworth was at the centre of developments in radical modern British sculpture of the twentieth century. Her changing ideas about sculpture, like many other British artists, were influenced by an awareness of artistic developments in Europe and an increased interest in sculpture and objects from across the globe. An earlier generation of sculptors had already broken away from the tradition of modelling and classical representation to explore new possibilities offered through direct carving and the simplification of form. Artists such as Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915), and Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) contributed towards development of direct carving, a sculptural principle of truth to materials whereby the sculpture’s form is dictated by the shape, density and the integral markings of wood grain or stone. They were to influence Hepworth, Moore and their generation of British sculptors working between the wars.
The spirit of international artistic exchange was sustained through repeated visits by British artists, including Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson (1894-1982), to Paris and the subsequent exile of many members of the European avant-garde under the threat of the Second World War. A number of avant-garde groups developed in the 1920s and 30s with both British and European members working across the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture and design. Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) and Naum Gabo (1890-1977) based themselves in London in the late 30s where a European Modernism intersected with a British sensibility towards the landscape and the figure. This resulted in a stylistic change in British painting and sculpture from the literal description of the subject to a concentration on simplistic form and abstraction.
GALLERY 4: HEPWORTH AT WORK
The displays in this gallery explore Hepworth’s studio environment, her working practice in plaster, her collaborative relationships with bronze foundries and the monumental commissions she received in the last fifteen years of her life.
The gallery introduces The Hepworth Family Gift, a unique collection of Hepworth’s working models that will be on permanent display at The Hepworth Wakefield. Representing the first stage of the creative process they offer an invaluable insight into her practice and, in particular, her particular approach to working with plaster.
The tools and materials on display here were Hepworth’s own and have been drawn from her second studio in St Ives, the Palais de Danse. Also featured is a step-by-step reconstruction of the bronze-casting process, photographs of works in progress and four specially commissioned films containing archival footage of the artist in her studio.
GALLERY 5: THE HEPWORTH FAMILY GIFT
The Hepworth Family Gift is a remarkable collection of Hepworth’s surviving working models for her bronze sculptures, the majority of which were made in plaster. This generous gift was made by the Hepworth Estate through the Art Fund and was one of the key reasons for building a new gallery for Wakefield, connectingHepworth’s name with the city in which she was born and grew up.
The collection reflects the variety of ways in which Hepworth used plaster and other materials as part of her working process. She preferred to make prototypes on the same scale as the finished sculptures and would have worked directly on all of these models. The centrepiece of the Gift is the prototype for Winged Figure (1961-63), the sculpture commissioned by John Lewis for their flagship store on Oxford Street. At nearly six metres in height, this is the only full-size working model to survive of the monumental commissions Hepworth received in her later life.
GALLERY 6: YORKSHIRE IN PICTURES
Yorkshire in Pictures highlights Wakefield’s collection of topographical work, including the Gott Collection, which comprises ten volumes of architectural and landscape studies of 18th and 19th century Yorkshire. This fascinating visual resource will be exhibited and also accessible via a digital catalogue available to view in this gallery. Our opening displays include J.M.W. Turner’s (1775-1851) sketch of Wakefield’s Chantry Chapel on loan from the British Museum, alongside a selection of paintings, drawings and prints of this historic landmark from the Wakefield collection.
HEPWORTH AND ST IVES
Although Barbara Hepworth’s formative years were spent in Wakefield, her later years in Cornwall have resulted in the artist’s association with the town of St Ives. St Ives has a long history as an artists’ colony dating from the late nineteenth century including self-taught artists such as Alfred Wallis (1855-1942). Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Hepworth left London with Ben Nicholson and their triplets for the safety of St Ives. They found themselves within an active artistic community which included the ceramicists Janet (1918-1997) and Bernard Leach (1887 –1979) the art theorist and artist Adrian Stokes (1902-1972) and his wife, artist Margaret Mellis (1914-2009), who had recently moved to the area, and the Cornish artist Peter Lanyon (1918-1964). They were shortly followed by Naum and Miriam Gabo and subsequently many more artists were drawn to this small town. This combination of innovative artists and inspiring landscape lead to the development of a particularly British abstraction of landscape. St Ives became an internationally significant centre for the development of post war contemporary art.
Image: Eva Rothschild
Opening Saturday 21 May from 11am
The Hepworth Wakefield
Gallery Walk Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Opening weekend: Saturday 21 May 11am – 8pm
Sunday 22 May 11am – 5pm
From 23 May 2011: Open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm.