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