Pelagos (1948) by Barbara Hepworth

Pelagos - Barbara Hepworth - 1946

Artwork Information

ArtistBarbara Hepworth
Art MovementAbstract Art
Current LocationTate Gallery, London
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About Pelagos

Title: Pelagos
Artist: Barbara Hepworth
Date: 1946
Art Movement: Abstract Art
Current Location: Tate Gallery, London

“Pelagos,” crafted by Barbara Hepworth in 1946, is a seminal work within the Abstract Art movement, currently held at the Tate Gallery in London. This piece reflects the period’s fascination with organic forms and the exploration of space within sculpture.

“Pelagos,” which means “sea” in Greek, is an elliptical form made from carved wood that has been painted and strung with strings. The sculpture is mounted on a wooden base, which adds to its presentation as an object for contemplation. Hepworth’s work often focuses on the relationship between landscape and form, and “Pelagos” is one of her most notable explorations of this theme. The hollowed-out part of the sculpture suggests a void or a space within, which could be interpreted as a metaphor for the hollows or harbors found along coastal landscapes. The strings, which may evoke maritime imagery such as nets or ropes, create tension and connect different parts of the piece, adding an element of dynamism to the otherwise smooth, rounded forms. The use of color in the piece – the contrasting light blue interior and the natural wood exterior – emphasizes the sculptureā€™s depth and the play of shadow and light. Hepworth’s abstraction invites viewers to engage with the form and space of the sculpture, fostering a personal interpretation of its shapes and textures.

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