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Turning Form, 1957

This drawing shares the title with one of two sculptures made by Barbara Hepworth for the 1951 Festival of Britain, to be sited by Fry, Drew & Partners’ Thames-side Restaurant. Despite the six-year gap the drawing and sculpture have formal associations, making it possible that the former deliberately recalled the latter. The sculpture has rising curved planes from which curved areas have been cut. From certain angles these appear to reach a point where they meet the profile of the curve. These qualities seem to be recalled in the drawing, where the planes are described by swift ink arcs meeting at points. The sculpture matched its name by being mounted on a rotating, motor-driven plinth. Even this is implicit in the drawing, where the balancing of the angled planes onto two lower points is given a sense of rotation by the lowest ink-and-wax line.

Drawing [BH 4]

Reserve Collection

Pen and ink on paper

360 x 250 mm

About the artist

Hepworth was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire. In the early 1920s she was a fellow student of Henry Moore at Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art. In 1931 she met Ben Nicholson, who was to become her second husband seven years later. She took part in various group exhibitions in the 1930s, including those of Abstraction-Creation, the Seven & Five Society and Unit One. She contributed to Circle in 1937. Hepworth lived in Cornwall from 1939 until her death, caused by a fire in her studio.