Assembly of Sea Forms
Barbara Hepworth (English, 1903-1975)
On View

Hepworth possessed a remarkable ability to conjure organic form from inorganic materials and a uniquely keen sense of spatial relationships. Rounding contours, piercing forms, playing with scale and arrangement, her work explores the embodied relationship between object and observer. In this late sculpture, white marble veined with gray is transformed into a cast of sea-smoothed creatures. Hepworth gave each of them a name: the two tallest shapes are known as Sea Mother and Sea King; the row ranged before them, as Shell, Sea Form and Young, and Rolled Sea Form; and the two small figures, as Embryo and Sea Bird. Ranged on a low, circular pedestal, these form a composition that can be viewed from every angle, quietly inhabiting the onlooker’s space.


  • Artist Name: Barbara Hepworth (English, 1903-1975)
  • Title: Assembly of Sea Forms
  • Date: 1972
  • Medium: White marble, mounted on stainless steel base
  • Dimensions: overall: 42-1/2 in. h. (108 cm); 72 in. diameter (182.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1974.12.1a-h.S
  • Copyright: © Bowness, Hepworth Estate

Object Information

Barbara Hepworth - Conversations

  • New York, Marlborough Gallery, 1974-03 to 1974-04

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1974-05-31 to 1975-01

Impossible Realities: Marcel Duchamp and the Surrealist Tradition

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1991-07-04 to 1992-03-08
  • Brommer, G., Discovering Art History, pp. 492-493
  • Hubbard, G., Art at Auction, 1971, p. 71
  • Marlborough Gallery, Barbara Hepworth-Conversations, 1974, no. 13 pp. 11, 38-39
  • Reilly, Richard, San Diego Union, 1979, p. E-10
  • Bowness, A., Barbara Hepworth: A Pictorial Autobiography, 1985, no. 347 p. 131
  • Asher, Gerald, Gourmet Magazine, 1986, p. 62
  • Elements and Principals of Design, 2000, p. 8
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1082 p. 370
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Duo (Grey & White) Barbara Hepworth 1973
Four-Square (Walk Through) Barbara Hepworth 1966
Oread Barbara Hepworth 1958

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