Arp to Warhol
19 November 2016
Barbara Hepworth, 1903-1975
Original lithograph in colours. 1968. Signed in pencil. Numbered ‘x21’ from the ‘export edition’ of 30. Total edition of 90, 60 impressions for the UK market and 30 impressions for overseas markets. Edition issued in the series: 'Twelve Lithographs', by Curwen Prints 1968. With the Curwen Press blindstamp. Edition printed by Stanley Jones at Curwen Studio, London, 1969.
Provenance: Private Collection, USA. Purchased in the USA c. 1969/70.
Very fine strong impression with totally fresh colours. On pale cream wove Barcham Green paper. Excellent condition. Full sheet: 815 x 587 mm. Image: 715 x 509 mm.
Hepworth frequently worked in the two dimensions of drawing in association with her sculpture. She made her first series of colour lithographs, using themes related to these sculpture drawings, for a series entitled ‘Twelve Lithographs’, just after her Retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1968. ‘Pastorale is one of the most sought-after works in this first series.
Hepworth was greatly encouraged in her interest in colour lithography by the enthusiasm of Stanley Jones the master lithographer and director of the famous Curwen Studio, where many artists had worked since the 1930’s. Hepworth drew the lithographs working on zinc plate at her St. Ives studio. The editions were then printed by Stanley Jones himself at the Curwen Studio in London.
‘Pastorale’, and the other compositions in the ‘Twelve Lithographs’ series show how ideas and concepts which first enthused Hepworth in the 1930’s continued to be central to her art. In 1933 Hepworth travelled to Paris with Ben Nicholson – both of them were excited by the new approach to ‘abstraction’ in European art and together they visited Picasso, Arp and Brancusi and other artists of the ‘Abstraction-Création’ movement. Back in London she, Nicholson and Paul Nash founded what was really the first truly avant-garde abstract British art group ‘Unit One’
In Pastorale can be seen ideas which link directly back to these beginnings – the evocation of hollowed-out form, piercing which creates a visual link between inner and outer form and luminosity (here through the use of the colour) which suggests the gleaming surface of her bronzes or the shine on polished marble.
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