- Barbara Hepworth
- New Penwith
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007
New York, Marlborough Gallery, Barbara Hepworth: Carvings and Bronzes, 1979, no. 15, illustrated in the catalogue
London, Asprey Jacques, Barbara Hepworth/Tania Kovats, 1998
New York, PaceWildenstein, Barbara Hepworth: Stone Sculpture, 2001, no. 5, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Valencia, Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Barbara Hepworth, 2004, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
The title of the present work refers to the Penwith peninsula that forms the most south-westerly point of Cornwall. Hepworth lived in Cornwall for more than half her life, first moving there in the summer of 1939. The surrounding landscape, with its ancient standing stones, dramatic coastline and remarkable quality of light, had an immense impact on her artistic practice. As she wrote of her early years there, ‘It was during this time that I gradually discovered the remarkable pagan landscape which lies between St. Ives, Penzance and Land’s End; a landscape which still has a very deep effect on me, developing all my ideas about the relationship of the human figure in the landscape’ (quoted in Barbara Hepworth. A Retrospective (exhibition catalogue), Tate Gallery, Liverpool, 1994, p. 81). The influence of this landscape is particularly evident in the work from the last decade of her life, when she returned to explore the forms that had been central to her earlier production: the single standing form, the closed form and the two forms which she once described as representing ‘the tender relationship of one living thing beside another’ (quoted in ibid., p. 10). Although almost geometric in their purity of line, the two forms of New Penwith still contrive to capture the essence of a living being within a landscape and exemplify Hepworth’s unique ability to communicate abstract concepts of shape and form within a personal and human context.