Wave was inspired by the landscape of Cornwall, where Hepworth lived at the time. The piece epitomises the kind of sculpture the artist was producing towards the end of the Second World War. The artist has combined organic form with natural materials and the use of string. The Russian Constructivist sculptor, Naum Gabo used nylon thread in his sculpture from around 1938 and Hepworth, who knew him well, may have been influenced by this, as well as by mathematical models. The string emphasizes the tension between the interior and exterior of the work. This tension is further highlighted by the contrast between the polished wood and matt, painted interior.
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Text © National Galleries of Scotland, 2023