Conoid, Sphere and Hollow III

Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903 - 1975)

Marble sculpture

1937

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© Alan Bowness, Hepworth Estate

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  • About the work

    'Conoid, Sphere and Hollow II' was made three years after the birth of Hepworth's triplets in 1934. Much of her sculpture of this period consisted of three forms, which encouraged exploration of spatial relationships, tension and scale between objects. At this time she was interested in the ways that dynamics established between forms could symbolise those of human relationships. The smooth polished marble of this work recalls the sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, who Hepworth first met in Paris in 1933.

    Barbara Hepworth was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire and studied at Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. A scholarship in Rome in the mid 1920s provided an opportunity for her to learn traditional marble carving techniques. From 1932 she met many leading French avant-garde artists, accompanied by Ben Nicholson, the British artist who she later married. In 1933 both joined Abstraction-Création, an international exhibiting society based in Paris. As the style of her work developed increasingly towards abstraction, she, Nicholson, and other artists including Henry Moore and Paul Nash were instrumental in progressing the modern movement in England. With the outbreak of war, Hepworth and Nicholson moved to Cornwall, where she remained until her sudden death in 1975. After the dissolution of their marriage in 1951, Hepworth lived permanently at Trewyn Studios in St Ives.

    In 2003 the centenary of her birth was marked by several celebratory exhibitions, notably in Wakefield, the city of her birth, and at St Ives.

  • About the artist
    Barbara Hepworth was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and studied at the Royal College of Art in London. One of Britain’s foremost sculptors, she visited Italy in 1924 to study marble carving. In Paris in 1933 she joined Abstraction-Création, an international exhibition society. Her work moved into an abstract phase, and with husband Ben Nicholson and others, she was at the forefront of the modern movement. At the outbreak of the war she moved with Nicholson to Cornwall. From 1951, after her marriage dissolved, she lived permanently in St Ives. Retrospectives were held at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1952 and 1962, and the Tate in 1968. She was created DBE in 1965. After her tragic death in a fire, her studio was opened as a museum.
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  • Details
    Title
    Conoid, Sphere and Hollow III
    Date
    1937
    Medium
    Marble sculpture
    Dimensions
    height: 32.00 cm, width: 35.50 cm, depth: 30.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Marlborough Fine Art, April 1966
    Inscription
    none
    Provenance
    Marquis of Dufferin and Ava; purchased from Marlborough Fine Art, April 1966
    GAC number
    7368