About this artwork

'Dyad' is one of Hepworth's most overtly figurative sculptures. On one side there is the incised profile of a man's head and on the other there is a smaller, female profile. The form suggests that the two figures are embracing. There is no front or back view: both sides are equal. 'Dyad' is a mathematical term meaning 'two'. Hepworth wrote that she 'used it in this sense of the two forms and the two entities,' combined in one figure. Hepworth made her first pierced sculpture in 1931. Here, she uses holes as a way of uniting the two sides of the work.

  • title: Dyad
  • accession number: GMA 854
  • artist: Dame Barbara HepworthEnglish (1903 - 1975)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Form
  • date created: 1949
  • measurements: 118.00 x 40.50 x 22.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1963
  • copyright: © BOWNESS for works by Barbara Hepworth
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Dame Barbara Hepworth

Dame Barbara Hepworth

Hepworth was born in Yorkshire. She studied at the Royal College of Art, London, where Henry Moore was a fellow student. Her work of the early 1930s in both stone and wood was completely abstract. Unlike Moore, her abstractions were not based on nature. In 1939 Hepworth moved to St Ives, Cornwall with husband Ben Nicholson and lived there for the rest of her life. Figurative references were reintroduced in to her work from the late 1940s, and from the 1950s onwards she worked predominantly in bronze. She died in a fire at her studio, which is now a museum dedicated to her work.