Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Hepworth’
Reblogging an appropriation of a shadow of an artwork
As the sun slowly sank towards the Wakefield horizon on Tuesday evening, I amused myself, in an empty gallery, by admiring the shadows cast by Babs’ sculpture Two Forms With White (Greek) on the wall.
No photographs of this sculpture are allowed to be taken, or at least not without signing lots of forms, but can you copyright the shadow of an artwork?
At the Hepworth, Wakefield over the holidays I saw this piece by Barabara Hepworth entitled Six Forms.
At The Painting Space I found out about a very exciting exhibition planned for next year ( February to May 2012) at the Courtauld Gallery, London, exploring the relationship between two important early modernist, abstract painters Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson.
The Painting Space post reminds us that in the 1930s they were leading forces of avant-garde art in Europe. Maybe a re-view of their work and the patterns that connect them will help us to think again about abstraction, its tradition and its continued relevance. In my opinion, the project that they started (non) represents a rich vein for current and future artists to tap.
One of the aspects of Ross Wolfe‘s recent guest post that I particularly appreciated was his celebration of the work of Mondrian, Malevich, Rodchenko and other early avant-garde artists. Ben Nicholson was clearly influenced by these artists and he contributed massively to a broadening of awareness of abstract art in the UK. Earlier this year, seeing one of his paintings, as well as a Winifred Nicholson, a John Piper, and Barbara Hepworth‘s sculptures alongside a magnificent Mondrian at the Hepworth in Context display at the Hepworth, Wakefield, highlighted for me just how wonderful some of the abstract art of the 1930s could be.
We had just under an hour to visit the Hepworth,
on Bank Holiday Monday…not enough time, especially as there was no parking (today only, I understand – though the parking at the site does look limited) and finding our way to the park & ride (good idea, but only provided for the first two weekends) delayed us further. We got the last bus of the day.
A magnificent building, I liked the outside, but the inside wow! A great space, in which the sculpture looked just right. In his blog, Tim Garratt says it’s “16000 square feet making it the largest exhibition space outside London”. I found that difficult to believe. It didn’t feel big. Perhaps that’s because each gallery made such good use of the space, it was uncluttered. Hence, viewing the work was a delight.
I was surprised by how many paintings were on view, and I particularly enjoyed the gallery exploring the context in which Hepworth worked. The Piet Mondrian painting was striking, as were the Ben Nicholsons, looking particularly good in this space. Two paintings that surprised me by their brilliance were Quarante Huit Quai d’Auteil by Winifred Nicholson and Forms on a White Ground by John Piper. I hate John Pipers architecture in landscape semi-abstract things, but this one really got me. He was a much better abstractionist than I had realised. The little paintings in this show had a monumentality way beyond their actual size – and whilst I know that’s such a cliché, it is how I experienced them. They absolutely deserve a second, third and fourth look.
In the Garden (misty wet with rain) there’s Heather and Ivan Morison’s The Black Cloud
It is a magnificent space and I will be returning very soon.
(Van Morrison fans will have noticed that the mention of Heather and Ivan got me remembering lines from In the Garden)
Sheep can’t read the sign that says “please do not climb on the sculptures” but they do seem to be able to read the non-verbal ‘sign’ that says “walk around me”.