Barbara Hepworth, an important figure in the development of abstract art in Britain, created the sculpture Pelagos in 1946. The title of the sculpture comes from the Greek word for “sea,” which is fitting as Pelagos resembles waves and has a spherical form. The sculpture is made of elm and strings on an oak base, which adds to its natural aesthetic.
Pelagos was part of Hepworth’s post-war period and shares its name with one of her best-known carved works. The sculpture creates a sense of movement and lightness with its wave-like shape, which reflects Hepworth’s interest in exploring form and space. Pelagos exemplifies Hepworth’s dedication to modernism and abstraction while maintaining a strong connection to nature.
In addition to sculpting, Hepworth produced sketches, drawings, and mixed media works over her career. Her artistic style evolved throughout the years, but her focus on natural forms remained constant. Today, Pelagos remains an important work in abstract art history that showcases Hepworth’s unique vision and talent for blending organic shapes with modern design principles.