Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE MAURICE AND MURIEL FULTON COLLECTIONChristie’s is honoured to present the Maurice and Muriel Fulton Collection for sale through a series of auctions spanning Old Master Paintings, Impressionist and Modern Art, Latin American Art, Post War and Contemporary Art, and Modern British Art. Working closely with some of the most respected art dealers of the day, most importantly famed Chicago dealer B.C. Holland, the Fultons acquired extraordinary modern works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Fernand Léger, Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet and Sol Lewitt to name a few. The Fulton collection holds one of the most important and bold cubist paintings by Jean Metzinger to come to market in recent years and is the centrepiece of their important collection of Impressionist and Modern Art. Maurice and Muriel met and fell in love while both students at the University of Chicago in 1938. Maurice joined the Navy after graduation and was stationed in the South and Central Pacific and received the Presidential Unit Citation for “outstanding heroism”. He and Muriel married while he was on leave from the war in 1944 - after an engagement on the University of Chicago campus at the spot where they first met - the spot where a plaque now sits to commemorate their great love story. The Fultons were generous with their time and philanthropic with organisations they held close to their hearts, becoming vital supporters of the Art Institute of Chicago (where a gallery is named in their honour), Boca Raton Museum of Art, Morikami Museum, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Ravinia Music Festival and their beloved alma mater, The University of Chicago, where a lecture series on the History of Law is named in their honour.
Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)

Hand Sculpture (Turning Form)

Details
Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975)
Hand Sculpture (Turning Form)
sandalwood, unique
16 ½ in. (41.9 cm.) long
Carved in 1953.
This work is recorded as BH 189, unique.
Provenance
with Gimpel Fils, London.
Acquired by Springer Gallery/ Rudolf Springer, Berlin, through the Martha Jackson Gallery, Toronto, at the 1960 exhibition.
with B.C. Holland, Chicago, where purchased by the present owners, January 1974.
Literature
D. Lewis, ‘Moore and Hepworth: A Comparison of their Sculpture’, College Art Journal, Vol. 14, no. 4, Summer 1955, pp. 314-319.
Exhibition catalogue, Barbara Hepworth: Carvings and Drawings 1937- 1954, Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 1955, no. 17, illustrated.
D. Lewis, ‘B. Hepworth’, Arte Visive, new series nos. 3-4, Rome, 1956.
Exhibition catalogue, Barbara Hepworth: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings, New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, 1956, no. 17, illustrated.
A.M. Hammacher, Barbara Hepworth, Berlin, 1958, pl. 17.
J.P. Hodin, Barbara Hepworth, Neuchâtel, 1961, p. 168, no. 189, illustrated.
M. Gale and C. Stephens, Barbara Hepworth: Works in the Tate Gallery Collection and the Barbara Hepworth Museum St Ives, London, 1999, p. 218.
S. Bowness, (ed.), Barbara Hepworth: Writings and Conversations, London, 2015, p. 95, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Barbara Hepworth: Retrospective Exhibition, 1927-1951, April - June 1954, no. 153.
New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, 3 British Artists: Hepworth, Scott, Bacon, October - November 1954, no. 4.
Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Barbara Hepworth: Carvings and Drawings 1937-1954, April - May 1955: this exhibition travelled to Lincoln, The University of Nebraska Art Galleries, June - August 1955; San Francisco, Museum of Art September - October 1955; Buffalo, The Albright Art Gallery, November - December 1955; Toronto, Art Gallery, January - February 1956; Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, March 1956; and Baltimore, Museum of Art, April - June 1956, no. 17.
New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, Barbara Hepworth: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings, December 1956 - January 1957, no. 17.
Toronto, Gallery Moos, in cooperation with the Martha Jackson Gallery, 4 Internationals: Appel, Scott, Hepworth, Tapiès, February - March 1960, no. 28.
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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Brought to you by

Alice Murray
Alice Murray

Lot Essay

I know this sculpture well. It’s an old friend. Hand Sculpture (Turning Form) lived in my sitting room in St Ives for a month when Barbara first carved it in 1953. In those days I was a member of the gang of four assistants who worked for Barbara in her Trewyn studio. The others were the sculptor Denis Mitchell and the painters, John Wells and Terry Frost. Barbara would let me borrow a sculpture from time to time; and I would borrow small paintings and drawings from Ben Nicholson too, so that I could live with them and experience them at first hand. What a privilege!

Unlike paintings, the messages of sculptures are not just visual. They are physical. This one was called a ‘hand sculpture’ by Barbara with good reason. It wasn’t fixed to a stand in those days. You could pick it up and run your hands over its surfaces and hollows, which were smooth and warm as satin. Barbara had a way of feeling forms, not with her fingers, but with the palms of her hands.
As you looked at Hand Sculpture (Turning Form), light and shadow bathed its the surfaces and were alive in its cavities. Although it was only about a foot & a half long it seemed that the rhythms and proportions of human scale and movement were articulated and resolved in its hollows and its penetrations.

The early 1950s was a period still raw after the war. Images of Belsen and Hiroshima, and of bombed cities in Britain and Europe, and the deaths and suffering of millions of men and women, haunted our minds as we hoped for new peace and human equity. Working for Barbara I was privileged to share conversations with the composers Michael Tippett and Priaulx Rainier, the poet-philosopher Herbert Read, the novelist Elias Canetti, and the scientists Solly Zuckerman and J.D. Bernal, friends who came to St Ives and Trewyn to share parallel experiences in art.

Barbara liked to say “I am the landscape”; and her sculptures and figure drawings always remind me now, as they did then, of the flow of hills and valleys, and of soft shadows inside seashells washed up by the surf. In her childhood she experienced the hills and valleys of West Riding in Yorkshire where her father was a land surveyor, and in Cornwall she found a parallel relation of hills and valleys to the perennial rhythms of wind and the surrounding ocean.

The rhythms of these very different landscapes had a deep effect on her. It seemed that the outcroppings of granite in the Penwith peninsula were like the bones of the land thrusting against Atlantic gales and driving rain, while sheltering the rhythms of smooth interior valleys. She recalled how centuries of seasonal cycles and human husbandry had also shaped the Dales. In both landscapes periods of storm were followed by days of sunlit calm. In her hospital drawings of surgeons at work in the early 1950s we can see the fluency and caress of similar rhythms; and we can easily understand why she was so drawn to Piero della Francesca as well as to the paintings of Mondrian and the sculptures of Brancusi.

1953, the year that Hand Sculpture (Turning Form) was carved, was difficult for Barbara. Her marriage to Ben Nicholson had broken up, and in February of that year her son Paul was killed, flying in the RAF over Thailand. She continued to work; it seemed as though she developed a deep inner silence, a grief that was a physical as well as an emotional cavity. And slowly that cavity of emptiness within her became real in the hollows and tunnels of her sculptures, a way of expressing - as a woman and a sculptor - an emotional and spiritual inwardness within outer form.

Hand Sculpture (Turning Form) was one of a series of sculptures by Barbara Hepworth to resolve, in the light and shadows of inward cavities, the rhythms and power of inward experience - not only physical but emotional and spiritual: sculptures now acknowledged as among the most potent and yet serene of the 20th century.

David Lewis, 2015.

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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