Barbara Hepworth

Art & Life


The first fully illustrated biography to look at the entirety of Barbara Hepworth’s multi-faceted artistic practice


ISBN: 9780500094259 Category:

Eleanor Clayton


Barbara Hepworth is one of the most important artists of the 20th century, yet she has been the subject of relatively few monographs in comparison to her male counterparts. This biography moves beyond the traditional narratives of modernism, truth to materials, and the landscape to provide a penetrating insight into Hepworth’s remarkable life, work and legacy.

Barbara Hepworth was reproached for single-mindedness in her lifetime, with critics and commentators framing both the artist and her work as ‘cool and restrained’. A continued focus on her modernist abstract sculpture of the 1930s and its relation to her male contemporaries has left vast swathes of her work and related passions overlooked. This fully illustrated biography reflects for the first time Hepworth’s multi-faceted, interdisciplinary and networked approach, shedding light as never before on her interests in music, dance, poetry, contemporary politics, science and technology; her engagement with these fields through friends and networks as well as her artistic practice; and the ways in which she synthesized sometimes seemingly conflicting disciplines and ideas into one coherent and inspirational philosophy of art and life.

With 178 illustrations

Additional information

Weight 892 g
Dimensions 17.4 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 15 July 2021
Number of pages 288
Format Hardback
Contributors Foreword by Ali Smith
Dimensions 17.4 x 24.7 cm
Weight 892 g


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Eleanor Clayton is Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield and a Barbara Hepworth specialist. As Assistant Curator: Exhibitions and Displays at Tate Liverpool (2010-14), she curated displays around Hepworth's work and contributed to the Tate's Hepworth Research Forum in the development of the exhibition 'Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World' at Tate Britain in 2015. Ali Smith is one of Britain's leading contemporary novelists.