Barbara Hepworth at Rodin Museum, Paris

Pelagos 1946 Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975 Presented by the artist 1964

Running until 22th March 2020 the Rodin Museum in Paris juxtaposes works by Auguste Rodin and Barbara Hepworth.

Distancing herself from Rodin’s powerful expressionism though, Hepworth explored an innovative visual language of form and volume. The poetic nature of her sculpted volumes was largely inspired by the natural and organic world contextualized by WWI and the difficult political times she lived in.

As a member of the Abstraction-Création group and with influence from the continental avant-garde, Hepworth moved away from representation and shifted from figurative to abstract forms, although her works continued to maintain a visual affinity with the human form. Unlike traditional sculptural practices of working with preliminary models or through transitional phases in clay or plaster, direct carving—introduced by Brancusi around 1906 and later adopted by Hepworth—allowed her to explore the innate rhythm of her material.

Curated by Catherine Chevillot, general curator and director of the Musée Rodin and Sara Matson, curator at Tate St Ives, the exhibition seeks to trace Hepworth’s remarkable career and gives viewers an insight into her working methods through the realistic recreation of her studio.

Image: Pelagos, 1946, elm and strings on oak base, 430 x 460 x 385 mm © Bowness