Alongside The Indiscipline of Painting, which looks at the history and legacy of abstract painting, there is a special focus this season on the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, exploring one of the twentieth century’s greatest abstract sculptors.
Barbara Hepworth moved to St Ives, along with her husband Ben Nicholson and young family, at the outbreak of the Second World War. “Finding Trewyn was a sort of magic”, she wrote of the St Ives studio – now the Barbara Hepworth Museum – where she lived and worked from 1949 until her death in 1975.
Following her wish to establish her home and studio as a museum for her work, Trewyn Studio (and much of the artist’s remaining work there) were given to the nation and placed in Tate’s care in 1980. It displays sculptures in bronze, stone and wood, both in the house and integrated into the subtropical foliage of the garden, along with paintings, drawings and archival material preserved in the artist’s workshops.
Following the recent opening of The Hepworth Wakefield there has been a renewed interest in the artist and her work. This new purpose-built gallery, designed by David Chipperfield in the town of Hepworth’s birth, is now home to a collection of plasters, prototypes, tools and ephemera, many of which have been relocated to the museum from St Ives.