This issue examines some under-studied writings by Adrian Stokes and Kenneth Clark, as well as Barbara Hepworth’s relationships with her dealers and phenomenological aspects of her post-war sculpture. New light is also shed on a recently restored sixteenth-century portrait.
In this issue
Martin Hammer reviews Kenneth Clark’s public spat with Herbert Read about modern art, which erupted in successive issues of the Listener magazine in October 1935, situating the exchange within discourses about modernism and politics.
This paper considers the figurative role of surfaces and their contents in the first chapter, ‘Jesi’, of Adrian Stokes’s The Quattro Cento. Revealing latent and politicised conflicts between formality and subject matter, it stresses the materiality of Stokes’s language.
Stephen Kite explores the relationship between architecture and the graphic arts in the milieus of the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Independent Group in 1950s Britain, and the evolution of a Kleinian aesthetics of space and surface, as read through an unpublished lecture by the critic Adrian Stokes.
The intertextual links between Stokes’s unpublished essay ‘In Short’ (1942) and his other writings of the period justify his own estimation of it as ‘a summing up of all I have ever thought incorporating experience of six years of daily psycho-analysis’. This and other texts, now found among Stokes’s papers in the Tate Archive, reveal him, especially in the first half of his career, to be a writer continually engaged in a retrospective integration and adjustment of idea and expression.
After the Second World War Barbara Hepworth sought to raise her profile in America, but her attempts to do so were frustrated by her hesitancy in decision making, reticence towards the press and reluctance to forge relationships with new potential supporters.
Barbara Hepworth’s development of the figure in landscape theme to which she turned increasingly after moving to St Ives in 1939 is considered in relation to the phenomenological philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and, in particular, to notions of embodied experience and interconnectivity.
Comprising technical and art historical analyses, this paper investigates the subject, date and status of a three-quarter-length portrait on a wooden panel of a man in Tudor-period costume in Tate’s collection.