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The best of Barbara

modern art Barbara Hepworth River and Rowing Museum statue round shape egg-like
Now we’re no longer snowed in on our sofas, mainlining hot chocolate and wearing a slanket (oh, just me?), it feels like a good time to seek out a weekend cultural fix to get everyone up and out of the house. Top of my list right now is Henley’s River and Rowing Museum’s excellent new exhibition of superstar British sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s work. Hepworth rose to prominence in the 1920s of a new generation of sculptors interested in direct carving, a technique that worked directly with the material rather than a preparatory model. Her bold, tactile, feminine sculptures will appeal to little people as well big folk, and because it’s a small exhibition (no more than 30 mins I’d say) it’s the perfect drop-in en famille if your proposed Henley riverside walk and mooch around the town is derailed by the weather.

I love Barbara Hepworth’s work (NB – if you’re on holiday in St Ives this summer, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden) so was very excited to check out this local retrospective covers Hepworth’s output from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. Look at these pieces – quite fancy one of those in my garden (I can but dream).

And, *International Women’s Week klaxon*,  I must say how nice it is to pay tribute to a major 20th century artist who was female – how often does that happen?

Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form runs until 3 June at River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 1BF. Tel: 01491 415600.


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