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Arts Council Collection: Icon

Barbara Hepworth

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1957

 

Many of Barbara Hepworth's sculptures refer directly to her home landscape of Cornwall. However, in 1954, she visited Greece and was struck by the solitude of the landscape. She made a series of drawings at locations such as Delphi, Delos and Mycenae, which formed studies for new sculptures.

Hepworth spoke of the resultant forms that she created as her 'experience' of places. In its careful rendering, her work Icon smoothly conveys the experience of its inspiration, as well as of its making. It is carved from solid mahogany and polished to a lustrous shine. Wood and stone carving were essential processes in Barbara Hepworth's sculptural practice; she found that harder materials presented both resistance and character to be grappled with.

 

Image credit: Barbara Hepworth, Icon, 1957. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Bowness

 

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.