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In the 1930s Barbara Hepworth and her husband Ben Nicholson were members of the London-based avant-garde. Shortly before the outbreak of war they moved to Cornwall with their children. Hepworth’s abstract forms, which seem akin to caves and shells, were affected by the Cornish landscape. Her response to nature was not romantic or mystical but more firmly based on actual observation. Circles and spheres had dominated her work. These were replaced by ovals which gave her sculptures two centres rather than one, complicating their interior form.

November 2015