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Assembly of Sea Forms

Assembly of Sea Forms, 1972

Barbara Hepworth
English, 1903-1975
White marble, mounted on stainless steel base
overall: 42-1/2 in. h. (108 cm); 72 in. diameter (182.9 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Bowness, Hepworth Estate

On view

Hepworth possessed a remarkable ability to conjure organic form from inorganic materials and a uniquely keen sense of spatial relationships. Rounding contours, piercing forms, playing with scale and arrangement, her work explores the embodied relationship between object and observer. In this late sculpture, white marble veined with gray is transformed into a cast of sea-smoothed creatures. Hepworth gave each of them a name: the two tallest shapes are known as Sea Mother and Sea King; the row ranged before them, as Shell, Sea Form and Young, and Rolled Sea Form; and the two small figures, as Embryo and Sea Bird. Ranged on a low, circular pedestal, these form a composition that can be viewed from every angle, quietly inhabiting the onlooker’s space.

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