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Creator:
Dame Barbara Hepworth, 1903–1975, British
Title:

Four Rectangles with Four Oblique Circles

Date:
1966
Medium:
Slate
Dimensions:
Overall: 14 x 25 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches (35.6 x 65.7 x 18.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Susan Morse Hilles
Copyright Status:
© Bowness
Accession Number:
B1991.37
Classification:
Sculptures
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
abstract art | squares (geometric figures)
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:1511
Export:
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In 1966, Barbara Hepworth was at the apogee of her fame, having recently completed the sculpture Single Form for the plaza of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. The viewing public had grown more receptive to abstract sculpture. In an interview in 1962, Hepworth said, "It is easy now to communicate with people through abstraction, and particularly so in sculpture since the whole body reacts to its presence . . . people become themselves a living part of the work." Hepworth was speaking here primarily of the many over­life-sized sculptural groupings she created. But the viewer could also engage on a physical level with smaller tabletop works, such as Four Rectangles with Four Oblique Circles. Walking around the sculpture, the various elements rearrange themselves according to our angle of vision. And the eye­like holes in each element create different vantage points on the world around us.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2020



From 1949 until her death, Barbara Hepworth was based in St. Ives, where her studio incorporated a stone carving yard. Although she produced sculpture in a variety of materials, including bronze, her contribution to “direct carving,” as an ethos and method, is considered among her important contributions to modern sculpture. The present work is a study of shape and form. Two years earlier, she had completed the monumental sculpture Single Form for the plaza of the United Nations Secretariat in New York, which takes a flattened form punctured by a large hole. As the present work shows, Hepworth worked on a variety of scales, engaging similar themes— semigeometrical forms with holes that open views through the sculpture to the other side. Walking around the sculpture, its elements rearrange themselves according to the viewer’s angle of vision.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

A selective eye, paintings and sculpture from the collection of Susan Morse Hilles , Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, 1993, p. 16, Yjg95 993Se (SML) Request for use in Manuscripts and Archives

Barbara Hepworth, [catalogue of an exhibition at] the Tate Gallery, 3 April-19 May 1968 , Tate Publishing, London, 1968, p. 61, no. 167, NJ18 H44 T36 (YCBA)

Alan Bowness, The complete sculpture of Barbara Hepworth, 1960-69, Lund Humphries, London, 1971, p. 45, no. 424, pl. 171, NJ18 H44 +B68 1971 (YCBA)

Alan Bowness, The complete sculpture of Barbara Hepworth, 1960-69, Lund Humphries, London, 1971, p. 45, no. 424, pl. 171, NB497.H4

Abraham Marie Hammacher, Barbara Hepworth, Thames and Hudson, London, 1987, pp. 182-183, no. 162, NJ18 H44 H2513 1987 (YCBA)


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