Barbara Hepworth and the Rhythms of the Stones at Wakefield

Barbara Hepworth invited the composer, Priaulx Rainier, to her studio at St Ives in 1950. While there, Rainier introduced Hepworth to Igor Stravinsky’s The Poetics of Music, of which the artist wrote “His (Stravinsky’s) chapter on composition corresponds so exactly to the creation of form that a mere half a dozen words would need to be changed to make it a statement on sculpture.”

Barbara Hepworth, Rhythmic Form, 1950, Rosewood! 40cm x 22cm x 104cm, Collection of the British Council, image © Sophie Bowness.
Barbara Hepworth, Rhythmic Form, 1950, Rosewood, 40cm x 22cm x 104cm, Collection of the British Council, image © Sophie Bowness.

Rhythm of the Stones, completes my musically inspired June but also acts as an introduction to the Barbara Hepworth retrospective recently opened in Wakefield, which we visited last week. Rainier would claim she was inspired by the sculptor hammering the stone in her 1950 composition, Rhythm of the Stones. She also found being in Hepworth’s company inspiring for her own work. She said of the artist “You have achieved the world to which I struggle, which is so hard in music.” Peter Sheppard Skævard would observe “A composer listens to an artist at work, in the garden she would plant. The rhythms and pitches of sculpting find their way into a provisional work.”

Barbara Hepworth, Ballet (2) Giselle, 1950, oil on board, 37cm x 49.5cm, HM Government Art Collection, Wakefield, Priaulx Rainier, Rhytms of Stones, St Ives
Barbara Hepworth, Ballet (2) Giselle, 1950, oil on board, 37cm x 49.5cm, HM Government Art Collection

Rhythmic Form features in Gallery 6 of the exhibition alongside the oil and paint on board Ballet (2) Giselle from 1950. All the galleries in the Hepworth Wakefield are given to the exhibition from Gallery 1, showcasing her most well known works, through her life as an artist to links to more contemporary artists in Galleries 9 & 10.

More of Barbara Hepworth; Art and Life, though, which is on until 22nd February 2022, next month when my theme will be sculpture. 

Panoramic view of Final Gallery, Barbara Hepworth Art & Life at Hepworth Wakefield until 22nd February 2022


One Comment Add yours

  1. Susie says:

    A must visit – a vast collection of her art beautifully curated

    Like

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