Last Updated 27 May 2020

Barbara Hepworth – presentation

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Essay type Research
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Good morning, I know some you are taking the "british art" course this year, so I think it could be interesting if I give a brief account of Barbara Hepworth�s work and experiences. For those of you who are not taking that subject it may be a way of familiarising yourselves with abstract art coming from Great Britain.

Before going straight into the subject, I�d like you to get rid of any prejudices you may have against abstract art and just let yourselves to be carried along by what I�m going to say and show.

First of all, I can see in your faces you�re thinking "Who�s that Barbara Hepworth she�s talking about? Well, She is one of the most important abstract scuptors in Britain.

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What I�m trying to do here this morning is to show you in what way her experiences in life changed her work.

As you see this is Barbara Hepworth when she was only two years old. It is relevant the way she perceived nature from her very infancy.

In this statement you can see it clearly. She says "All my early memories are of forms, shapes and textures", so she identifies nature with sculture. The last line is also remarkable as Barbara Hepworth is establishing a relationship between nature and the sculptor.

One of the most important experiences who contributed to change her work is the visit she paid to Italy when she had become a sculptor herself. In this country she found two of her main preocupations: light and the grouping of people. The importance of light in relation to form will always interest her. Her second preocupation emerged in Venice. There, she realized that when people entered Saint Mark square, they walked in a different way and tended to group themselves because of the enormous proportion of the square and the cathedral. These two preocupations, those of light and the grouping of people will change her style.

In this slide you can see her with one of her children. Barbara recognizes that with the birth of her first child her work developed notoriously. In her Autobiography, that I recommend you, the artist critizises those who thought a woman cannot be an artist and mother at the same time. What is more, she believes her work changed because of her children been, during several years, more formal, avoiding any trace of naturalism. You can see the resault in this sculpure.

If we carry on the course of her life, we can find another turning point in her career when she first met Arp, one of the leaders of dadaism. By seeing his work, Barbara freed herself from many inhibitions and regarded the ralion between form and landscape with new eyes.

In the decade of the 30�s, abstract art became quite famous in Britain because of Barbara and her husband, Ben Nicholson. They were in contact with some important artists from the continent, such as gabo or Mondrian. Here you can see her with Gabo and his wife.

This contact originated new preocupations for Barbara. One of them was the quality of the materials she used in her scuptures. She wanted to do something of a piece of marble, for example, but in order to achieve it she had to discover what the block of marble wanted.

In this period she is also interested in the hollowed form as you can see in many of her works. She pierced the scuptures to create a more profound relationship between human beings and nature through sculpture.

It is in these years that she analyses the role of the sculptor. She also reflects about her hands. Barbara Hepworth thinks her left hand is her thinking hand while her right hand is the working one.

As a result of the threatening of the 2nd world war, many european artists came to England and joined the group of Barbara and Ben Nicholson in St. Ives, establishing the foundations of Constructivism, one of the most important vanguardist movements.

During these last years of the decade Barbara Hepworth devoted herself to curved and stringed carvings which symbolised, once again, a sense of identification with nature.

After this period her scultures will evoque the idea of enclosure or embrace. In order to achive it she uses several kinds of forms which are: the standing figure, the two figures, that represent the relationship between one human being and another, and the spherical or oval form.

Her work will change again in the 40�s, a decade she dedicates to monumental and enormous figures made of metal.

This is Barbara Hepworth when she was nearly and old lady.

In her last years she comes back to the formal style that characterized her work during the decade of the 30�s.

Unfortunately, she passed away in 1975. She used to drink and smoke a lot, so one day she didn�t extinguish the butt of a cigarrete and it a caused a fire that killed her.

In conclusion, I can say Barbara Hepworth was one of the most important artists of her time and her success depends a great deal on her experience in life.

I hope you take a full advantage of my presentation. Anyway, if you�ve got any comments or questions you are welcomed. Thank you very much.

* Introduction:

Good morning, I know some of you.....

Get rid of any prejudices / let yourselves get involved.

* Body:

First of all: Who is Barbara Hepworth.

What I�m trying : in what way her experiences change her work.

Slide of her 2 years old : relevant because from her infancy aware of forms.

Slide of statement. (last line remarkable).

Italy: preoccupations: light and grouping of people.

Slides of Venice.

Slides of child (2)

Her children: developed her work, autobiography she critizises, her work more formal avoiding any trace of naturalism

Slide of formal scupture.

If we follow the course of her life another turning point: Arp: (leader of dadaism) freed herself from many inhibitions and regarded the relationship bet figure and nature with new eyes.

In the decade of the 30�s abstract art famous in GB because of her and her husband.

Slide of BH and her husband.

They were in contact with artists from continent. (Gabo, Mondrian).

Slide of her with Gabo.

This contact originated new preoccupatiosns: qualitiy of materials, hollowed form. She pierced scultures to create a more profound relation bet human beings and nature.

Slide of pierced figure.

It is in these years: analyses the role of artist and reflects about her hands.

Slides of hands (2).

As a result of the threatening of the 2nd w.w. many artist came and joined her group in St Ives.

Slides of her studio in St. Ives (2).

There they established the foundations of Constructuvism, one of the most imp vanguardist movements.

During these last years of the decade, BH devoted herself to the curved and stringed carving, a sense of identifiation with nature.

Slide of stringed sculpture.

After this period her sculptures will evoque the idea of enclosure or embrace by using several kinds of forms: standing form, two forms and oval or spherical form.

Slide of standing figure.

Slide of spherical figure.

40�s her work changes again: enormous figures made of metal.

Slides of enormous figures (3).

Slides of her old (2)

In her last years she came back to the formal style of the 30�s.

She passed away in 1975: she used to drink etc.

* Conclusion:

As a conclusion we can say she was 1 of the + imp artists of her time, and her success depends a great deal on her experience in life.

I hope you have taken full advantage of my presentation.

If you have any comments or questions you are welcome.

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Barbara Hepworth – presentation. (2018, Jan 06). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/barbara-hepworth-presentation/

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