Barbara Hepworth’s Three Obliques Forms (Walk In) sculpture, estimated to be worth £6,000,000-9,000,000, will take the lead at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale on the 18th of October 2023.
This towering sculpture, standing at nearly three meters in height, is part of a unique and highly significant collection of monumental sculptures crafted by Barbara Hepworth during the 1960s. These remarkable works were designed to be placed in open-air settings, encouraging a fresh perspective on the landscape.
Until the 18th of October, Three Obliques Forms (Walk In) can be admired in the tranquil garden surroundings of St James’s Square, situated near Christie’s London headquarters. This presents a remarkable opportunity for the public to appreciate the artwork in an outdoor space accessible to all.
Angus Granlund, the Head of The Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale at Christie’s, expressed his enthusiasm: “Barbara Hepworth’s exquisite sculpture, Three Obliques Forms (Walk In), was conceived to engage with its natural environment, and we are delighted to showcase it as the centrepiece of our Evening Sale. Displayed in St James’s Square, a mere two-minute stroll from our London Headquarters, we are able to honour the artist’s vision and offer a free outdoor exhibition of the masterpiece in the lead-up to the auction on the 18th of October.”
This exceptional sculpture series comprises bold, uncomplicated, geometric forms, cast in bronze and adorned with circular apertures that evoke the movement of the sun or the moon across the sky and horizon. As implied by the sculpture’s name, “Walk In,” these grand pieces were designed to encourage viewers to physically interact with and engage their bodies in the artwork.
It was only during the 1960s that Hepworth attained the stature and financial resources necessary to create such large-scale, bronze-cast sculptures. Three Obliques Forms (Walk In) is among the last remaining examples and is part of an edition of two, along with an artist’s cast, with this particular sculpture being the artist’s cast. The other casts are housed at Cardiff University and in the possession of a private collector, publicly displayed in Seattle.
Hepworth crafted Three Obliques Forms (Walk In) in 1968, specifically for a significant sculpture exhibition set in the natural landscape. This exhibition took place at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan in 1970, demonstrating Hepworth’s commitment to blending art with nature.
In summary, Barbara Hepworth’s Three Obliques Forms (Walk In) represents a monumental achievement in the world of sculpture, inviting viewers to engage with the natural world and experience art in a new and immersive way. Its upcoming appearance at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale is an event not to be missed, providing a unique opportunity to witness this masterpiece in a serene outdoor setting before it finds its new home.