Patrick Heron was an abstract painter, writer, and designer who made noteworthy contributions to the development of abstract art. His work was devoted to the analysis of natural forms and colors. From his Abstract works, particularly those made up of horizontal or vertical stripes, to his softer-edged shapes, he regularly uses color to express the pleasure of sight as one of the most important human senses.
Patrick Heron was born in 1920 in Headingley, Leeds, in Yorkshire, England. After living in Cornwall his family moved to Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire in 1929. In 1933, he began to paint under the influence of Paul Cézanne after visiting the National Gallery in London during a school trip. Five years later, working for Cresta Silks, Patrick Heron designed his first silkscreen. Then in 1937, he became a part-time student at the Slade School of Fine Art in London for two years. In 1940, he worked as an agricultural laborer in Cambridge and Welwyn Garden City for four years before becoming an assistant at Bernard Leach’s Pottery in St. Ives in Cornwall, in 1944. In 1945, he moved to Holland Park after marrying Delia Reiss. He was art critic for the ‘New English Weekly’ for two years before having his first one-man exhibition at Redfern Gallery in London, in 1947. Patrick Heron’s early work included many figurative studies such as ‘The Gas Stove’ (1946) but the painting ‘The Boats and the Iron Ladder’ (1947) showed the direction he was moving towards with its complex patterning and unusual use of colors. His early work was influenced by Georges Braque and Henri Matisse.
Patrick Heron first met the American Abstract Expressionists in London in 1956, during an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, and he soon started to paint in an abstract style, as seen in the paintings Square Leaves (1956) and Winter Harbour (1955).
‘Six in Vermillion with Green in Yellow, 1970’ by Patrick Heron on display at Jonathan Grant Gallery. For more information please contact the Gallery.