Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hepworth and Moore go head-to-head

This winter The Hepworth Wakefield opens two new exhibitions that invite visitors to experience the work of two Yorkshire greats - Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

For the first time, the gallery is presenting the work of these peers concurrently as the artists go head to head with displays that showcase two recurrent themes within their work. Both Henry Moore's Reclining Figures and Barbara Hepworth's Two Forms will be on display at The Hepworth Wakefield until May 2014.

Barbara Hepworth, Mother and Child, 1934 from the new Barbara Hepworth Two Forms exhibition. Copyright Bowness, Hepworth Estate. Photo Jonty Wilde.

Frances Guy, Head of Collection and Exhibitions said: “It’s fascinating to show the work of Moore and Hepworth side by side and invite visitors to see for themselves the similarities and contrasts between these peers, encapsulated in two of their most popular themes.”

Henry Moore's Reclining Figures spans five decades of Moore’s career and focuses on a theme that was “an absolute obsession” for the artist. The display features two sculptures from the Wakefield Collection, alongside a group of small-scale maquettes and a monumentally scaled bronze sculpture on loan from The Henry Moore Foundation. Visitors can get hands-on with Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 4, 1961, by using protective gloves to experience the deeply textured surface of this bronze work.

Henry Moore Reclining Figures Exhibition Opens at The Hepworth Wakefield, featuring Henry Moore's Large Four Piece Reclining Figure, 1972-73. Photo Bob Collier-PA Wire.

The display coincides with the opening of a new Henry Moore exhibits in the region. Working Model for Draped Reclining Figure (1979), the third reclining figure by Moore in Wakefield’s collection, is to go on show at the new Castleford Forum.

In contrast, Barbara Hepworth: Two Forms is a more intimate display that brings together a group of sculptures that trace the shift in Hepworth's work from figurative to abstract through the Mother and Child motif. Wakefield’s much loved Mother and Child, 1934 will be back on display, presented alongside key loans from the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney and several private collections.

Many of Hepworth's early sculptures relevant to the new display were lost or destroyed during the Second World War. To represent these, a superb series of photographs taken by Hepworth herself and by photographers William Darby and Paul Laib, appear in the display, documenting the years 1932–1937, a critical period in Hepworth’s practice.

For full details of The Hepworth Wakefield’s winter programme of exhibitions, events and family-friendly activities visit hepworthwakefield.org or telephone 01924 247360.

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