Dame Barbara Hepworth
- Barbara Hepworth
- Forms in Movement (Galliard)
- length: 89cm.; 35in.
- Conceived in 1956, the present work is from an edition of 6 of which only 4 were created.
Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, December 1956, cat. no.9 (another from the edition);
Leeds, Leeds City Art Gallery, Modern Sculpture: Kenneth Armitage, Ralph Brown, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Leslie Thornton, 8th October - 5th November 1958, cat. no.33 (another from the edition);
New York, Galerie Chalette, Hepworth, October - November 1959, cat. no.14 (another from the edition);
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Barbara Hepworth: an Exhibition of Sulpture from 1952-1962, 9th May - 8th June 1962, cat. no.7, illustrated (another from the edition);
Uttoxeter, Abbotsholme, Barbara Hepworth, Sculpture and Lithographs, 17th January - 8th February 1970, cat. no.4, illustrated on the cover (another from the edition), with Arts Council tour;
London, Gimpel Fils, Barbara Hepworth, 1903-1975: 50 Sculptures from 1935 to 1970, 7th October - 15th November 1975, cat. no.12, illustrated (another from the edition);
Osaka, Gallery Kasahara, Barbara Hepworth, 1978, cat. no.1, illustrated p.5 and frontispiece (another from the edition);
Liverpool, Tate, Barbara Hepworth: A Retrospective, 14th September - 4th December 1994, cat. no.52, illustrated p.144 (another from the edition), with tour to Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto;
Nancy, Musée des Beaux Arts, Barbara Hepworth, 12th January - 27th March 2006, cat. no.32 (another from the edition);
St Ives, Tate, Summer 2009: Alfred Wallis, Lucie Rie, Barbara Hepworth, Lawrence Weiner, Carol Bove, Bojan Sarcevic, Katy Moran, 16th May - 27th September 2009, illustrated (another from the edition);
Wakefield, The Hepworth Wakefield, 2013, (short-term loan).
A. M. Hammacher, Barbara Hepworth, Thames & Hudson, London, 1968, p.210, illustrated pl.102 (another from the edition);
Bryan Robertson, English Contrasts: Peintres et Sculpteurs Anglais 1950-1960, Artcurial, Paris, 1984, p.40, illustrated (another from the edition);
Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens, Barbara Hepworth: Works in the Tate Gallery Collection and the Barbara Hepworth Museum St Ives, Tate Publishing, London, 1999, pp.154, 160, illustrated fig.61 (another from the edition);
Emma E. Roberts, 'Neglected Catalysts: The Function of Drawings and Paintings in Barbara Hepworth's Oeuvre', Apollo, October 2003, Vol.CLIX, No.500, pp.43-8, illustrated p.48 (another from the edition);
Penelope Curtis, Barbara Hepworth, Tate Publishing, London, 2013, illustrated front cover and fig.40 (another from the edition).
‘[Galliard's] form is clear and precise, and its wide sweeping rhythms suggest graceful movement and perfect balance. Prominently placed it should have a permanent influence on the minds that contemplate it, leading them to an appreciation of beauty in its purest and deepest sense’ (Herbert Read, W.G.H.S. Magazine, 1960, p.27).
Forms in Movement (Galliard), conceived in 1956, is from a pivotal period in Hepworth’s life when she was moving away from working solely in carved stone and wood and beginning to experiment with new materials. This gave her the opportunity to design new forms, opening up the interior of her sculptures further and exploring movement in her work to a greater extent. It is likely that this work was one of Hepworth’s first ventures into using sheet-metal in her sculptures; it is from an edition of six of which only four were ever made.
Forms in Movement (Galliard) was executed in the same year as another related sculpture, Forms in Movement (Pavan) (BH453) from which followed a series of variants conceived in a variety of mediums including concrete, plaster, brass and string all of which explored the concept of ‘line in space.' This group of works appear to act as a link between Hepworth’s carvings and her first experiments with bronze, which by the late 1950s had begun to dominate her output.
Forms in Movement (Galliard) was acquired by Hepworth’s alma mater Wakefield Girls' High School to celebrate the opening of the new gymnasium in 1960. The gymnasium was built with money raised through a huge fundraising initiative and Hepworth for her part generously gave the work for 200 guineas (half the usual gallery price). As the WGHS magazine stated in 1960:
‘The growth of the new gymnasium inspired the desire to have in this lovely building a piece of work of one of our most famous Old Girls, a work which would express the beauty of movement … it is certain that Galliard will be immediately liked by most of the girls, will give pleasure and inspiration for many years to come’ (W.G.H.S. Magazine, 1960, p.27).
The choice of this piece is particularly apt as its primary concern is with exploring the rhythmic quality of movement and dance, certainly demonstrating that much thought went into ensuring the work would fit the location. This is confirmed by the lengthy correspondence between Hepworth and members of staff regarding the form the work should take, Hepworth initially considering a bronze before inviting members of staff to her studio where they decided on Forms in Movement (Galliard). It is uncertain however whether the work resided in the gymnasium, as certainly by July 1961, it was housed in the school library. The reception by pupils was enthusiastic as can be seen by their initial reactions printed in the school magazine in 1960. One loved the material which she describes as ‘one shining golden spiral of metal twisted into a figure of exquisite beauty’ and another the colours: ‘it gleams like the setting sun, radiating a warm glow, and yet it has such a delicate hue’. Hepworth’s correspondence also reveals the school’s positive reception of the work:
‘I am very happy to know that you have this feeling for the sculpture and it is most exciting to know that it has become part of the life of the school … I would love to see the school again, but I am afraid it will not be this year’ (The Artist, private correspondence with Miss Knott, 28th May 1960).
Forms in Movement (Galliard) is named after the lively sixteenth-century dance ‘Galliard’, performed in triple time. It was an athletic dance that saw courtiers leaping, jumping and hopping around the dancehall and this quick rhythmic movement is reflected in the structure of the work. Hepworth has utilized the strength and flexibility of the copper material to bend the strip into three simple loops in a seemingly continuous line, like a ribbon, which rises, falls and swirls in a lively pattern reflective of the energetic dance after which it was named. The reflections of light on the polished copper also add to the animated quality of the work, the golden colours evoking the rich opulent fabrics of the courtiers. The theme of dance associated with this sculpture represents another link with Hepworth’s upbringing recalling her love of music and dancing. During her childhood, encouraged by her mother, she won several prizes for her piano playing at school and loved dance classes especially Miss McCroben’s Dalcroze Eurythmics class introduced to the school in 1914 which is a sequence of dance steps and arm movements made to particular rhythms.
Acquired by the school in 1959, the proceeds from the sale of Forms in Movement (Galliard) will be used for the long term benefit and education of pupils at Wakefield Girls’ High School to ensure continued access to the best educational facilities and support widening participation through bursaries.