Squares and Circles, 1969
Signed lower right 'Barbara Hepworth'; numbered lower left ‘49/60’
Printed by Curwen Studio
Lithograph on paper
22 7/8 x 31 3/4 in, 58 x 80.5 cm
Having worked on figurative drawings in the 1940s and early 1950s, by the 1960s Hepworth once again focused on the abstract. Space and the relationship between shapes had always been...
Having worked on figurative drawings in the 1940s and early 1950s, by the 1960s Hepworth once again focused on the abstract. Space and the relationship between shapes had always been a crucial component of her work, as had drawing, stating that ‘I rarely make drawings for a particular sculpture… I do, however, spend whole periods of time entirely in drawing when I search for forms and rhythms and curvatures for my own satisfaction.’
'Squares and Circles' is from Hepworth’s first major suite of prints '12 Lithographs'. Having moved permanently to St Ives in 1950, Hepworth created the work at her Trewyn Studio. It was printed by Curwen Studios, then under the helm of the celebrated lithographer Stanley Jones. Not only producing Hepworth’s prints, the studio also worked with Henry Moore, Man Ray, Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink, Paula Rego and Howard Hodgkin.
The lithograph reveals the close relationship between Hepworth’s sculptures and drawings. Creating a dialogue between the forms, Hepworth here creates a balance of line and colour. Unlike her earlier work in which line was dominant, there is harmony between the two, with a focus upon what Hepworth described as the “plasticity of relationships and proportions”.
By the 1960s Barbara Hepworth had reached the height of her fame. The year before creating this print Hepworth had her first major retrospective at Tate Gallery confirming her status as a leader of British Art. Gifted by Curwen Studio, an edition of this print is now held in the Tate’s collection.