Three Forms (October 3rd) reveals Hepworth’s interest in conveying the interaction between forms, a concern which had first emerged within her work following her observation of figures engaging with each other in the Piazza San Marco during a trip to Venice in 1949. Within the present work, the three elements seem to turn towards each other, as though involved in a form of mute communication. However, Three Forms (October 3rd) also suggests the influence of the mysterious Menhirs, or standing stones, which Hepworth would have encountered within the wild Cornish landscape. Alan G. Wilkinson makes reference to this sense of mystery and wonder within Hepworth’s later works, noting that these saw ‘the introduction of themes hinting at myth, magic and fantasy’ (quoted in: Barbara Hepworth: A Retrospective (exhibition catalogue), Liverpool, Tate Gallery & Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1994-95, p. 112). Exuding a commanding sense of presence and power, Three Forms (October 3rd) displays Hepworth’s astonishing control of her medium to superb effect. Charmingly, the title refers to the birthday of the triplets born to Hepworth and Ben Nicholson in 1934.
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