The Liberation of Form
Barbara Hepworth - A Master of Abstraction in the Mirror of Modernism


2 April to 20 August 2023

Barbara Hepworth is one of the key figures of the European avant-garde and a master of abstraction. Her work epitomises the liberation of form, while the serenity and inner balance of her sculptures release the pacifying power of art. Hepworth, a pioneer of modern sculpture, fundamentally revolutionised art with her “piercings” of the form in her sculptures. Her unique combination of reduced forms, timeless materials, and a humanist attitude in close touch with nature have made her one of the leading British artists of her time and one who gained international recognition.

Barbara Hepworth, Group III (Evocation),1952, © Bowness

Barbara Hepworth, Group III (Evocation),1952, © Bowness

The exhibition opens up new perspectives on Barbara Hepworth's work and traces the connections to her contemporaries and her influence up to the present day. Works by artists such as Claudia Comte, Tacita Dean, Julian Charrière, Nevin Aladağ, Nezaket Ekici, and Laurenz Theinert update Hepworth's ideas and reinterpret her formal and aesthetic qualities.

Works by the following artists (in alphabetical order) are featured in the exhibition: Nevin Aladağ, Kenneth Armitage, Hans Arp, Reg Butler, Constantin Brâncuși, Lynn Chadwick, Julian Charrière, Claudia Comte, Tacita Dean, Naum Gabo, Nezaket Ekici, Henri Laurens, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, László Moholy-Nagy, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Eduardo Paolozzi and Antoine Pevsner.

The exhibition is funded by the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia, by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, by the Rhineland Regional Council (LVR), by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State North Rhine-Westphalia, by the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States, by the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung and by the Duisburger Akzente.