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Tate Britain presents the first major London retrospective for almost half a century of the work of Barbara Hepworth, one of Britain’s greatest artists. Barbara Hepworth (1903-75) was a leading figure of the international modern art movement in the 1930s, and one of the most successful sculptors in the world during the 1950s and 1960s. This major retrospective emphasises Hepworth’s often overlooked prominence in the international art world. It also highlights the different contexts and spaces in which Hepworth developed and presented her work, from the studio to the landscape.

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Tate Britain has announced that it will host London’s first major Barbara Hepworth exhibition in nearly fifty years. “Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for the Modern World” will open on June 24, 2015, and run through October 25, 2015. After the exhibition closes, it will travel to the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands (November 2015 – April 2016), and the Arp Museum in Rolandseck, Germany (May – August 2016).  

Born in Wakefield, England, in 1903, Hepworth studied sculpture at the Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she befriended fellow sculptor Henry Moore.

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 16:13

The Tate Makes Artists’ Artifacts Available Online

About 52,000 photographs, letters, sketchbooks, and technical records offering insights into some of Britain’s greatest 20th-century artists are to be put online for the first time.

Tate Archive has announced details of the first tranche of material, which anyone, anywhere can access freely. It includes the love letters of painter Paul Nash, the detailed sculpture records of Barbara Hepworth, and 3,000 photographs by Nigel Henderson, providing a behind-the-scenes backstage look at London’s 1950s jazz scene.

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Hundreds of people have backed a campaign to return a Barbara Hepworth sculpture to a shopping center.

"Rock Form," thought to be worth more than £1m, was removed from The Mander Center, Wolverhampton, in June.

The precinct is currently up for sale and campaigners fear there are plans to sell the sculpture separately.

Joint owners The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Delancey said they were looking at ways of allowing the statue to continue to be enjoyed.

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Sculpture is to take centre stage at the Tate galleries next year, with the first major retrospective in 20 years of Alexander Calder – credited with inventing the mobile – and a showcase of Barbara Hepworth's carvings and bronzes among the highlights of Tate's 2015 programme.

Other exhibitions include Jackson Pollock, South African painter Marlene Dumas and a look at pop art's international influences.

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern will trace the works of the groundbreaking US-born sculptor, born in 1898, from his early years entertaining the bohemians of inter-war Paris with works such as Calder's Circus.

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Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture Figure for Landscape (1960) sold for a record-setting £4,170,500 / ($7,085,680) at Christie’s sale of modern British and Irish art in London on Wednesday evening. Hepworth’s previous record was set at the same Christie’s sale in July of last year for Curved Form (Bryher II) (1961), which was sold for £2,413,875 ($3,604,412), according to the artnet Price Database.

The sculpture, which was estimated to fetch £1–2 million, was consigned by Norway’s Kunsthall Stavanger, which is on the brink of closure due to lacking public funds.

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‘Figure for Landscape’ by Dame Barbara Hepworth DBE (1903–1975) was first unveiled outside Kunsthall Stavanger’s building in 1968.

Her sculpture hit the local headlines last and this month after the art association – formerly known as Stavanger Kunstforening – decided to sell the work to raise money.                        

The sale is intended to bring funding to maintain the building and operation, keep staff on, and put on exhibitions for further revenue. But the 41 to 15 vote in favour of selling Stavanger’s most valuable sculpture was not without repercussions.

Local art milieu members and representatives slammed the Board, calling the move “a theft”, and “madness”. Over 260 signed a petition, and Stavanger’s Galleri Oppdahl encouraged people stage a boycott.

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Over fifty major works totaling about $64 million were offered as payment to the UK for nearly $40 million worth of inheritance tax that accumulated between 2010 and 2012. Those in control of the estates of authors, artists, and collectors have been allowed to use cultural and historical artifacts to pay the tax since 1910.

The UK has recently received a number of masterpieces including two oil portraits of aristocratic families by Sir Joshua Reynolds, a renowned 18th century English artist. One portrait will be placed in the Tate and the other will go to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Other works include two landscapes by JMW Turner; an oil sketch by Peter Paul Rubens titled The Triumph of Venus that will be placed in Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum; a work by Italian 17th century master Guernico that has been allocated to the National Gallery; and four sculptures and three works on paper by Barbara Hepworth.

The ability to donate significant works to pay off inheritance tax has introduced a number of remarkable pieces to the UK’s galleries and museums, bringing monumental works out from behind closed doors and into the public arena.

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