Press Release

Tate St Ives Spring Season: The Tate Collection – 1971, Gabo – Hepworth – Mitchell

Dexter Dalwood has made a personal selection of work from the Tate Collection to accompany his exhibition

The Tate Collection – 1971

Dexter Dalwood has made a personal selection of work from the Tate Collection to accompany his exhibition. Taking the year 1971 as his starting point, he has brought together an international collection of works, all made that year, by artists of very different generations, backgrounds and practices. In this way he offers a kind of cross section through time, and constructs a snapshot of a personally relevant period.

In 1971 Sam Peckinpah’s controversial film Straw Dogs, shot entirely in Cornwall, was released; an event that made a distinct and profound impression on Dalwood who was 11 years old at the time and living in Penzance. That same year the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album was produced with a sleeve designed by Andy Warhol. Concurrently Oscar Kokoshka, born in the previous century in Vienna, painted Time, Gentleman Please 1971, as Nixon continued to send troops to Vietnam. Meanwhile Irish artist Rita Donagh was making a painting titled Three weeks in May 1970 – relating to both a group action carried out by her students at Reading University and the shooting dead of anti-Vietnam protestors at Kent State University in Ohio. In Cornwall, Roger Hilton and Bryan Wynter were developing a new painterly abstraction as American abstract artist Philip Guston was returning to figuration. Barbara Hepworth was making her last works and Naum Gabo, now 81 and living in the States, continued to produce some of his best work. This eclectic display also includes, among others, the work of Pablo Picasso, Howard Hodgkin, Arnulf Rainer, Margaret Harrison and Ewa Partum.

Gabo – Hepworth – Mitchell

This display of stone carvings brings together three significant modernist sculptors working in St Ives from 1939. Whilst Barbara Hepworth’s abstract works were at the forefront of international modernism, the tradition of carving remained consistently at the heart of her practice. It was both an intellectual and sensory process which combined her love of natural materials with her humanist political ideals. Following his association with Barbara Hepworth from the 1930s, Naum Gabo, who was best known for his radical constructions in plastic and metal, began an unusual series of ‘kinetic’ stone carvings. Living in St Ives during the war, elements of natural forms seemed more apparent in his work. Denis Mitchell worked as Hepworth’s assistant for 10 years from 1949. Unconventionally, he often worked into solid rough casts of bronze which he carved, chased and polished like stone. His reliefs and sculptures in slate and stone also considered formal relationships between balance, line, space and form.

Editor notes

Tate St Ives Spring Season
Dexter Dalwood
The Tate Collection – 1971
Gabo – Hepworth – Mitchell
23 January – 3 May 2010