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numbered 9⁄9' (on the base)
bronze with a light green patina
11 1⁄2 in. (29.2 cm.) high
Conceived in 1959 and cast by Morris Singer, London in 1959.
This work is recorded as BH 270.
Acquired directly from the artist by T. Stallabrass.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 4 November 1992, lot 119, where purchased for the present collection.
Exhibition catalogue, Barbara Hepworth - New Sculptures and Drawings, Zürich, Galerie Charles Lienhard, 1960, n.p., no. 16, another cast illustrated.
J.P. Hodin, Barbara Hepworth, London, 1961, p. 170, no. 270.
Exhibition catalogue, Barbara Hepworth: an exhibition of sculpture from 1952-62, London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1962, n.p., no. 50, another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, 'Abstract Form & Life' Sculpture by Barbara Hepworth and Biological Models, Belfast, Queen's University, 1962, n.p., no. 1, another cast illustrated.
P. Curtis and A. Wilkinson, exhibition catalogue, Barbara Hepworth: A Retrospective, Liverpool, Tate Gallery, 1994, p. 148, 164, no. 62, another cast illustrated.
M. Gale and C. Stephens, Barbara Hepworth: Works in the Tate Collection and the Barbara Hepworth Museum St Ives, London, 1999, pp. 151, 192-3, no. 49, another cast illustrated.
M. Phillips and C. Stephens, Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture Garden, St Ives, London, 2002, pp. 28-9, another cast illustrated.
E. Cooper, 'Barbara Hepworth: the Sculptor’s Close Links to the Crafts', Crafts, September - October 2003, no. 184, p. 33, another cast illustrated.
N. Alfrey, S. Daniels and M. Postle (eds.), exhibition catalogue, Art of the Garden, London, Tate Britain, 2004, p. 120, no. 49, another cast illustrated.
'Art of the Garden' review, The Times, 22 May 2004, another cast illustrated.
P. Eyres and F. Russell (eds.), Sculpture and the Garden, Aldershot, 2006, p. 151, fig. 8.5, another cast illustrated.
S. Bowness, Barbara Hepworth: The Sculptor in the Studio, London, 2017, p. 124.
Zürich, Galerie Charles Lienhard, Barbara Hepworth - New Sculptures and Drawings, October 1960, no. 16, another cast exhibited.
London, Gimpel Fils, Barbara Hepworth, new sculptures and drawings, May 1961, no. 10, another cast exhibited.
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Barbara Hepworth: an exhibition of sculpture from 1952-62, May 1962, no. 50, another cast exhibited.
Belfast, Queen's University, 'Abstract Form & Life' Sculpture by Barbara Hepworth and Biological Models, April 1962, no. 1, another cast exhibited.
Farnham, Ashgate Gallery, British Sculpture Today, July 1962, no. 42a, another cast exhibited.
St Ives, Penwith Society of Arts, Autumn Exhibition, 1962, exhibition not numbered, another cast exhibited.
St Ives, Penwith Society of Arts, Christmas Exhibition, December 1965 - January 1966, no. 1, another cast exhibited.
London, Tate Gallery, Barbara Hepworth, April - May 1968, no. 100, another cast exhibited.
Bath, Festival Gallery, St Ives Group: 2nd Exhibition, June 1969, no. 3, another cast exhibited, catalogue not traced.
Liverpool, Tate Gallery, Barbara Hepworth: A Retrospective, September - December 1994, no. 62, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, February - April 1965; and Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, May - August 1995.
London, Tate Britain, Art of the Garden, June - August 2004, no. 49, another cast exhibited: this exhibition travelled to Belfast, Ulster Museum, October 2004 - February 2005; and Manchester, City Art Gallery, March - May 2005.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private Collections

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Lot Essay

A return to bronze casting in 1956 gave Hepworth the opportunity to develop her approach to sculpture with newfound significance: conceiving more complex forms of varying mass, space and light in ways that would not have been possible with earlier stone and wood carving. Despite this shift in material, Hepworth remained committed to the act of sculpting by hand, shaping plaster into naturalistic sinuous forms evocative of the St Ives wildlife and landscape that so famously inspired her. She reflected, 'It took me nearly thirty years to find a way of using it …I found the most intense pleasure in this new adventure in material ... I had always hated clay and never previously liked any bronze casts of forms modelled in clay. But now I felt free to enjoy the making of the armature. I could blend it with my carving technique – by building up the plaster of Paris and then cutting it down as though carving …By treating the plaster as if it was oil paint with large flat spatulae, I built surfaces which I could then cut down when hard. This method gave me the same feeling of personal surfaces as when I prepare the boards on which I draw and paint’ (B. Hepworth quoted in S. Bowness (ed.), Barbara Hepworth: Writings and Conversations, London, 2015, pp. 158-59).

It is apt, given Hepworth’s fondness of gardening and nature, that the present work’s title refers to a botanical term in which clusters of buds grow together in a particular symmetrical manner. With its deep arc echoing Curved Form (Trevalgan) - one of Hepworth’s first works cast in bronze during this period - Corymb’s small scale and additional coiled, central form amplifies dynamism and tension. Each plane surges around one another as if alive, blooming open with a wonderful serenity. Delicate metal rods at the centre of Corymb creates a further sense of balance, reminiscent of Hepworth’s early stringed sculptures intended to animate space and connect both figure and landscape together in a physical sense.

The first cast of the present work’s edition is displayed in the artist's Trewin Studio garden, St Ives, on loan from the Barbara Hepworth Estate.

We are grateful to Dr Sophie Bowness for her assistance with the cataloguing apparatus for this work. Dr Sophie Bowness is preparing the revised catalogue raisonné of Hepworth’s sculpture.

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