Don’t Miss Barbara Hepworth at the Musée Rodin in Paris

Don’t Miss Barbara Hepworth at the Musée Rodin in Paris

The famous museum showcases an exhibition devoted to Dame Barbara Hepworth, the British sculptor

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Barbara Hepworth at work. Photo by Val Wilmer

“From the sculptor’s point of view, one can either be the spectator of the object or the object itself. For a few years I became the object.” — Barbara Hepworth

Sea forms, Barbara Hepworth

“The Musée Rodin is one of the very few places in France to have exhibited Barbara Hepworth’s work, over 60 years ago, in her lifetime. So it’s normal that we reintroduce her powerful and poetic art to a new generation of the French public,” says Catherine Chevillot, general curator and director of Musée Rodin with Sara Matson, curator at Tate St. Ives.

Barbara Hepworth museum, St Ives

“I think every person looking at a sculpture should use his own body. You can’t look at a sculpture if you are going to stand stiff as a ramrod and stare at it, with sculpture you must walk around it, bend toward it, touch it and walk away from it,” said Hepworth.

Discs in Echelon, Barbara Hepworth

Hepworth (1903-1975) and her husband, the artist Ben Nicolson (1894-1982), were often in France. Picasso, Brancusi, Arp, Calder, Miro and Mondrian were part of their circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The School of Paris was a huge influence on both Hepworth and Nicholson as they became key figures in an international network of iconic abstract artists.

Torso, Barbara Hepworth

“The sculptor carves because he must. He needs the concrete form of stone and wood for the expression of his idea and experience, and when the idea forms the material is found at once,” said Hepworth. Her aesthetic came from her love of material, which she carved directly. After World War II she worked plaster by hand to create her monumental bronzes.

Barbara Hepworth’s workshop

Hepworth’s organic sculptures were created in a post World War society to convey an impression of peace contrasting to the atrocities of war. The essence of her art is in the play of convex and concave, the subtle contrast of solid and void, in her own words, “to swallow despair”.

Landscape sculpture, Barbara Hepworth

The Musée Rodin’s Tribute exhibition touchingly recreates the artist’s studio at St. Ives, Cornwall, along with books and letters from friends like Alexander Calder and Henry Moore.

Barbara Hepworth. Photo: Rosemary Mathews

“The aim of the Musée Rodin’s exhibition is to provide an overview of Dame Barbara’s art and career, an insight into her working methods and to give a glimpse into her St. Ives studio environment,” says Catherine Chevillot.

Pierced Hemisphere, Barbara Hepworth

Until March 2020
77 rue de Varenne, 7th
Metro: Varenne
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 18 61 30
Tuesday to Sunday 10am-18.30pm
Tickets and program: www.musee-rodin.fr

Three Forms, Barbara Hepworth
Pélagos, Barbara Hepworth
Barbara Hepworth’s workshop
Curved Form, Barbara Hepworth

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !

1 COMMENT

  1. Love Barbara Hepworth. Her studio in St Ives hidden behind a high garden wall is a step back in time and simply fabulous. Wonderful that her work is now.being shown in Paris. Thanks Margaret.

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