Last Saturday (8th April 2017) after I’d visited The Hepworth Wakefield Spring Market, in The Calder building, I popped over to the main building to look round. I was looking forward to seeing the Disobedient Bodies exhibition but I’m going to write about that in a separate blog post, I don’t want the other exhibitions to get overshadowed and lost by putting them all together, there’s some really great work in them (as you will see in the pics I took) and it’s be a shame to overlook them
It really is worth making the trip to see them for yourself if you can but if you can’t then hopefully this will give you a bit of a taster. I tried to take shots that would give a sense of seeing how the pieces work together as a whole exhibition rather than focusing on individual pieces, I did focus more on the things I liked most though. I also tried to take pics of the information written on the wall to explain what each exhibition is about but I’ll also include excerps from The Hepworth website at the end to help provide more detail too.
You’ll also see some shots taken from the windows in the gallery spaces too, many including the Chantry Chapel where I exhibited some of my work in last May’s Artwalk, read about it here.
Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle’s Yard 15 September 2016 – 1 May 2017
The Hepworth Wakefield and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge are delighted to present a new installation by 2016 Turner Prize nominee, Anthea Hamilton, an artist renowned for her art-pop, culture-inspired sculptures and installations that incorporate references from the worlds of art, fashion, design and cinema.
Hamilton has reinstalled our exhibition Kettle’s Yard at The Hepworth Wakefield which has been on display since May 2016, while Kettle’s Yard is closed for renovation.
Based on her research into the art and objects of the Kettle’s Yard collection, Hamilton has re-appropriated objects from the collection, using unexpected details as starting points for new works.
Significantly, Hamilton has also invited several British and international artists, with whom she has either previously worked, or whose work is important to her, to contribute to this exhibition. These include: French artist Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, British artist Nicholas Byrne, British photographer Roger Philips, German artist Daniel Sinsel, Latvian artist Ella Kruglyanskaya, Polish artist Maria Loboda and the celebrated American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
György Gordon: From Hungary to Yorkshire, 1924-2005 Opens Sat 25 February
The Hungarian-born artist György Gordon became a refugee after fleeing the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. He resettled in Wakefield in 1964 where he became a lecturer in Graphic Design and the leader of the painting department at Wakefield College of Art.
A gifted teacher, he inspired admiration and affection from generations of young artists. This new exhibition celebrates the recent gift of three paintings to the Wakefield collection.
Approximately 30 works, comprising paintings, works on paper and archival material are on display, including the three gifted works exploring themes of solitude and displacement.
A Contemporary Collection
24 September 2016 – Autumn 2017
The Wakefield Permanent Art Collection was founded in 1923, and housed in Wakefield Art Gallery from 1932. Shortly after, Wakefield Councilman Alfred Carr stated that the purpose of the collection was ‘to keep in touch with modern art, in its relations to modern life’. In its first decades, the collection acquired works of art by important British artists of the early twentieth century who had championed art as a reflection of contemporary experience. These included critic and painter Roger Fry and artists of the Camden Town Group who celebrated ordinary people and everyday events.
The collection supported emerging local artists Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, acquiring their work early in their careers along with that of painter Ben Nicholson. Nicholson and Hepworth, who married in 1938, had formed a new avant-garde in the 1930s that fused geometric abstraction and utopian ideals, which they took to St. Ives during World War II. Paintings created in response to the devastation of the war were acquired by Wakefield through the War Artists Advisory Committee in the late 1940s, providing local audiences with a reflection of the hardships they and their fellow countrymen faced.
In post-war Britain, Wakefield continued to host exhibitions of contemporary artists and collect their works. Alan Davie had his first solo exhibition at Wakefield Art Gallery in 1958 under the directorship of Helen Kapp, and a number of his paintings were subsequently acquired. Gifts have played an important part in the development of the collection. As the new building of The Hepworth Wakefield was in development, Sir Alan Bowness, Barbara Hepworth’s son-in-law, donated a group of paintings through the Art Fund. These included works by Davie and significant abstract artists of the 1960s and 70s such as John Golding and John Hoyland.
Since opening in 2011, The Hepworth Wakefield has continued Wakefield’s tradition of supporting contemporary artists through exhibitions and acquisitions. Its inaugural exhibition was of new work by Eva Rothschild, whose sculpture Wandering Palm was subsequently acquired. Some artists who have exhibited at the gallery have generously given works to the collection, such as Matt Darbyshire’s Untitled (Shelf), which allows the collection to remain contemporary. One of the most recent acquisitions, Anthea Hamilton’s Leg Chair, was acquired through the Contemporary Art Society in 2015, and marks Hamilton’s current exhibition in Gallery 3.
NEW FOR 2017
A Contemporary Collection includes a section curated by Art & Social, a group of young people who meet every Friday at The Hepworth Wakefield to be creative, build skills and develop friendships and confidence. They have selected works from the collection, which are presented alongside collectively written poems that give an insight into their choices.
The Hepworth Family Gift/Hepworth at Work
On Permanent Display at The Hepworth Wakefield
The Hepworth Family Gift consists of 44 full size, rarely seen working models – surviving prototypes in plaster and aluminium made in preparation for the works in bronze Hepworth executed from the mid-1950s to the end of her career. It also includes drawings and a large group of lithographs and screen prints by Barbara Hepworth, and has been given to The Hepworth Wakefield, via the Art Fund, by the artist’s daughters Rachel Kidd and Sarah Bowness, through the Trustees of the Barbara Hepworth Estate.
The Hepworth at Work display explores Hepworth’s studio environment, her work in plaster, her collaborative relationships with bronze foundries and the monumental commissions she received in the last fifteen years of her life. The tools and materials on display were Hepworth’s own and have been drawn from her second studio in St Ives, the Palais de Danse. Also featured is a step-by-step reconstruction of the bronze-casting process, photographs of works in progress and four specially commissioned films containing archival footage of the artist in her studio.
The gallery introduces The Hepworth Family Gift, a unique collection of Hepworth’s working models that is on permanent display at The Hepworth Wakefield. Representing the first stage of the creative process, they offer an invaluable insight into her art and, in particular, her approach to working with plaster.
The collection reflects the variety of ways in which Hepworth used plaster and aluminium. She preferred to make prototypes on the same scale as the finished sculptures and would have worked directly on the majority of these models.
The centrepiece of the Gift is the aluminium prototype for Winged Figure, 1961 – 3, the sculpture commissioned by John Lewis Partnership for their flagship store on Oxford Street, London. At nearly six metres high, this is the only working model to survive for the monumental commissions Hepworth received in later life.
Till next time,