Barbara Hepworth is particularly known for her abstract, organic sculptures: flowing curved forms with cavities, depressions and openings, which thus create an experience of space and an extraordinary effect of light and shadow. Initially, she carves these mainly from wood and stone, which she regards as a ‘pure’ and direct method of sculpting. Later she also casts them in bronze.
Squares with two circles is an exceptional work, as Hepworth works with squares for the first time and the sculpture departs from her usual organic formal idiom. This sculpture is about the mutual relationship of the two rectangles and the circular holes, which open up the work to the surrounding space.
Hepworth prefers to show her sculptures outside in nature, the source from which the works are also created. ‘I think sculpture grows in the open light and with the movement of the sun its aspect is always changing; and with space and the sky above, it can expand and breathe.’ Hence, Squares with two circles is shown to full advantage in the sculpture garden of the museum.