Contrapuntal Forms

Contrapuntal Forms is currently on short-term loan to The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery for the exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life (27th May 2021 – 27th February 2022), the most expansive exhibition of the artist’s work for more than 45 years, where it will be re-united with its fellow, Turning Forms, for the first time in 70 years. For more information visit hepworthwakefield.org.

Commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain, Contrapuntal Forms was first sited on London’s South Bank, a new development showcasing design principles that would shape the post-war rebuilding of London and the creation of new towns. It was later acquired by the Harlow Development Corporation and sited in ‘Area 1’, then the most developed part of Harlow. The intention was to move the sculpture to the town centre once the Civic Square was complete. This was thwarted by residents, who insisted it remain where it still stands today. A monumental abstract piece, the sculpture epitomises the sentiment expressed by one Mrs Merle in 1956: “In Harlow we are all contemporary. We have modern houses and we like modern art, too.” It was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage in 1998.