Figure for Landscape

Object Details

Title:

Figure for Landscape

Artist/Maker(s):

Barbara Hepworth (British, 1903 - 1975)

Culture:

British

Date:

design 1960; cast 1968

Medium:

Bronze

Dimensions:

271.8 x 132.1 x 71.1 cm, 771.1149 kg (107 x 52 x 28 in., 1700 lb.)

Copyright:

© Bowness, Hepworth Estate

Credit Line:

Gift of Fran and Ray Stark

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About nine feet tall, this hollowed-out bronze sculpture is a commanding presence. It is not recognizable as a specific human form, but the narrowing shape suggests the contours of a head and body. Although the piece can be viewed from all sides, the carved surface is richer and more textured from the front than from the back. The sculpture's shrouded or veiled appearance and dark, almost leathery surfaces, create a slightly foreboding quality.

Barbara Hepworth often pierced or punctured her forms, creating a play of positive and negative space. Here, the four openings accentuate the sculpture's relation to the surrounding landscape--an interplay reinforced by the work's title.

To create this sculpture, Hepworth began with an aluminum armature. Layer upon layer of plaster was piled onto this sturdy structure. When the plaster dried, Hepworth then directly carved into the hard surface, working and reworking it until she reached a final form. The form was then cast in bronze in two parts. Hepworth preferred working in the open air to ensure that when installed out-of-doors, her sculptures would respond to the light in precisely the way she intended.

Provenance
- 1968

Gimpel Fils, sold to Fran and Ray Stark, October 31, 1968.

1968 - 1992

Fran Stark

and Ray Stark, upon the death of Fran Stark, retained by her husband, Ray Stark, 1992.

1992 - 2004

Ray Stark, upon his death, distributed to the Ray Stark Revocable Trust.

2004 - 2005

The Ray Stark Revocable Trust, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Bibliography

Boström, Antonia, ed. The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-Century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 82-85, no. 9, entry by Christopher Bedford.