• Macquette, Three Forms in Echelon, 1961

    Macquette, Three Forms in Echelon, 1961

    Barbara Hepworth

    Tate St. Ives
    Porthmeor Beach
    May 24–October 12, 2003

    The origins of Barbara Hepworth’s art, according to Adrian Stokes, lay in the need “to cultivate a reverence for stone” that had long been lost. Today, when the urge to cultivate reverence of any sort seems to have been so profoundly lost that we don’t even regret it anymore, Hepworth’s sculpture can seem distant enough that it’s hard to believe this is merely her centenary year. Can Tate Britain curator Christopher Stephens’s exhibition of one hundred works from all phases of the artist’s career (but focusing on her stone and wood carvings) drag her reputation into the present as more than just one of the worthy bores of British modernism? Art history says it should, but I’m not holding my breath.