We are very grateful to Dr Sophie Bowness for her assistance in preparing the catalogue entry for this and the following lot.
Three Forms, BH66, was originally carved in grey alabaster in 1935 and is in the collection of Tate Gallery, London. The present piece, BH521, was cast at the Morris Singer foundry in 1971.
The geometrical arrangement of the original was of determing importance for the relationship of solid and void and was one of the earliest examples of such an arrangement. The shapes and locations of the forms have been seen as holding some general proportional sequence, however , it is likely that such relationships were worked out by eye. (see M. Gale and C. Stephens, Barbara Hepworth Works in the Tate Gallery Collection and the Barbara Hepworth Museum St Ives, London, 1999, pp. 49-50).
Herbert Read comments, 'Although Hepworth had been arranging organic elements on bases during 1933-4, the geometric forms seem to date from 1935. She would later associate the move to abstraction with the birth of her triplets on 3 October 1934. "When I started carving again in November 1934," she wrote, "my work seemed to have changed direction although the only fresh influence had been the arrival of the children. The work was more formal and all traces of naturalism had disappeared, and for some years I was absorbed in the relationships in space, in size and texture and weight, as well as in the tensions between the forms."' (H. Read, Barbara Hepworth: Carvings and Drawings, 1952, section 3).