Art@Site Barbara Hepworth Two Forms, Divided Circle

Barbara Hepworth


Two Forms, Divided Circle

Tel Aviv Museum
Two Forms (Divided Circle) is a bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, designed in 1969. Six numbered copies were cast, plus one (0/6) retained by the sculptor. The sculpture's dimensions are 2,370 centimetres (930 in) by 2,340 centimetres (920 in) by 54 centimetres (21 in).
The front of the base has"Barbara Hepworth 1969" inscribed on it followed by the number of the sculpture, as well as"Morris | Singer | Founders | London", both inscribed by casting.
The sculpture is considered to be one of Britain's most recognisable works.
The sculpture is late work by Hepworth, created only 6 years before her death in a fire at her studio in St Ives in 1975. It includes two vertical bronze semi-circles forming a broken circle approximately 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) across, each pieced pierced by one large hole. Both elements are welded to a bronze base. All three elements are hollow, and were cast in London by Morris Singer.
Hepworth designed the work after being diagnosed with cancer in 1966. She wanted the viewer's body to be engaged with her work, saying:"You can climb through the Divided Circle – you don't need to do it physically to experience it." Hepworth also made a series of nine maquettes about 14.5 inches (370 mm) tall, Maquette for Divided Circle, cast in polished bronze.
"Carving to me is more interesting than modelling, because there is an unlimited variety of materials from which to draw inspiration. Each material demands a particular treatment and there are an infinite number of subjects in life each to be re-created in a particular material. In fact, it would be possible to carve the same subject in a different stone each time, throughout life, without a repetition of form.
If a pebble or an egg can be enjoyed for the sake of its shape only, it is one step towards a true appreciation of sculpture."
From Hepworth's statement in the series"Contemporary English Sculptors", The Architectural Association Journal, London, vol. XLV, no. 518, April 1930, p. 384.