Paperback208 PagesSize: 260 x 220 x 18 mm
ISBN: 9781848220850Publication: May 29, 2015
Also available: Hardback


Bowness's essay gives much-needed attention to Hepworth's studio practice, as well as to her relations with foundries, and details the evolutions of her public commissions.' The Times Literary Supplement

Barbara Hepworth: The Plasters

The Gift to Wakefield

Edited by Sophie Bowness, with contributions by Sophie Bowness, David Chipperfield, Frances Guy, Jackie Heuman, Tessa Jackson, Simon Wallis and Gordon Watson

£19.99 GBP

  • Features a fully illustrated catalogue of a little-known collection of 44 plasters (and other prototypes) by Barbara Hepworth, gifted to The Hepworth Wakefield by the Hepworth Estate
  • Presents new research into aspects of the work of Barbara Hepworth that have received little attention previously
  • Makes extensive use of archival material that has not been explored in any depth previously, and reproduces many fascinating archival photographs, including some which are previously unpublished


Newly published in paperback to coincide with the Barbara Hepworth retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain in 2015, this fascinating book combines a fully illustrated catalogue of the sculptor's surviving prototypes in plaster (and a number also in aluminium and wood), generously gifted to The Hepworth Wakefield by the Hepworth Estate, with a detailed analysis of her working methods and a comprehensive history of her work in bronze. The Hepworth's collection of over forty unique, unknown sculptures are the surviving working models from which editions of bronzes were cast. They range in size from works that can be held in the hand to monumental sculptures, including the Winged Figure for John Lewis's Oxford Street headquarters. The majority are original plasters on which the artist worked with her own hands and to scale. It was in plaster that Hepworth experimented most as she made the transition from stone and wood to bronze, testing the potential of her new material as she went. Sophie Bowness's illuminating text describes the different means by which this increasingly important artist made her plaster works, and why. Drawing extensively on archival records and photographs, this publication is an important source of information about a significant collection of work, the gallery which houses it and Hepworth in general. The catalogue illuminates the histories of Hepworth's sculptures through fascinating archival photographs, which demonstrate everything from the varied tools used by Hepworth to the logistical problems of transporting her monumental pieces through the narrow streets of St Ives. The book provides a much-needed account of Hepworth's studio practice, her relations with foundries, and the evolution of her public commissions.

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