Contrapuntal Forms (Mycenae)


Barbara Hepworth ( British, 1903 - 1975 )

more object details

General Description

In Contrapuntal Forms (Mycenae), two marble figures are turned toward one another as though in conversation. The sculpture's title underscores this interactive quality. In music, counterpoint combines two or more independent melodies to create one harmonic texture. Mycenae refers to a Greek civilization that flourished during the second millennium BCE, implying that the abstract forms engage with antiquity as much as they do with each other.

One of England's most important 20th–century sculptors, Barbara Hepworth explored the dynamics of human relationships through her abstract compositions and the interpenetration of space and form. She always preferred carving over modeling, and she avoided using mechanical tools, choosing to work by hand.

Excerpt from

  • Heather MacDonald, Label text, 2010.

Web Resources

  • Tate
    Learn more about Barbara Hepworth and her work.