new-york

Barbara Hepworth

Pace Wildenstein

BARBARA HEPWORTH WAS A MASTER OF SUBTLE FORM. Though her abstract works often contain figurative allusions, the sculptures are better understood on a purely formal level: In Two Faces, 1969, for instance, it is the different placement of the holes letting space and light into the dense stones (Hepworth's longtime friend Henry Moore seems an influence) and the polished awkwardness of the asymmetrical pieces, as well as their at-odds position next to each other, that lend the piece its aesthetic credibility.

My favorite work in this miniretrospective of mostly late sculpture was a relatively early piece, Convolute, 1944. This small, carefully cut chunk of cumberland stone attests to Hepworth's fascination with gently eccentric yet incisive curves, the interplay of the raw and the refined, and the durability and nobility of stone (her favored material was marble, which she liked for its “

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