Winged Figure II

Maker and role
Artist: Barbara Hepworth, British, 1903-1975
Year
1957

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Details


Media/materials
Bronze, with plaster and wire
Measurements
height, 67 7/8in (172.4cm)
Credit line
Gift of the Estate of Tom Slick
Accession number
1973.32
Object type
Department
Further information
Made a year after Barbara Hepworth started working with bronze, Winged Figure II is the artist's second version of this particular form -- during the same year, Hepworth made Winged Figure I. Slightly asymmetrical, Winged Figure II resembles a pair of wings with its right side projecting forward and ovoid spaces piercing the form in four places. Plaster applied to most of the bronze surface creates a texture that suggests feathers. Metal wires coming from different points cross to form an X in front of the middle of the bronze figure.

Barbara Hepworth had used strung wire across sculptural forms intermittently since the 1940s, referring, among other things, to mathematical models, stringed musical instruments, or the tension the artist felt between herself and the landscape. The bronze figure seems to envelope the viewer while the wires create a sense of distance. In 1962, a larger version was commissioned and assembled on a side wall of the John Lewis Partnership store in London. When observed from below, as it was in its 1962 installation, the sculpture recalls decoration on a Gothic cathedral, perhaps an angel with a musical instrument.
Copyright
Subject period

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