Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour. Paintings 1965 - 1977

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Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour Paintings 1965–1977

H H-H

HAZLITT HOLLAND-HIBBERT

Patrick Heron The Colour of Colour Paintings 1965–1977


Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour Paintings 1965 –1977


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Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour Paintings 1965 –1977

7 October – 17 December 2021

38 Bury Street St James’s London SW1Y 6BB +44 (0) 20 7839 7600 www.hh-h.com

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Introduction James Holland-Hibbert

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his is the first exhibition of Patrick Heron’s work to be held at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert since taking on representation of the artist’s estate. Focusing on a pivotal period in Heron’s career from the mid-sixties, it reveals a truly decisive shift towards a more personal language based upon colour and form. Gone are the soft-edged circles and squares which defined his previous work, replaced instead by his ‘wobbly, hard-edge’ forms, a reference to the more linear work included in this show. Colour pervades Heron’s work; it is at the heart of his oeuvre, the means and content of his painting. It also became the ‘subject’ of his painting and later led him to sharpen the boundaries between contrasting juxtapositions of colour; in the artist’s words, ‘the sharper the division between colour, the more intense the colour will be’. The work is the result of Heron’s experience of looking acutely at the world. Although the pictures do not directly represent the garden and landscape of his home and studio in Cornwall, the forms of these surroundings resonate in his painting in fundamental ways and whilst his work undoubtedly broke new ground in the post-war

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British abstract movement it still found its place in a figurative, and a very much European, tradition. His significant contribution to abstract painting and his influential research into colour theory was instrumental in teaching a new generation of artists about the relationship between colour, form and space, while his art criticism helped the public to gain a better understanding and appreciation of international modern art at large. We are hugely grateful to Martin Gayford for his essay and to the owners who have generously agreed to lend to the show, as well as Toby Treves and Antonia Johnson who have both been instrumental in putting the exhibition together. However, above all, Susanna and Katharine Heron have been the key participants in offering their invaluable knowledge and expertise and allowing us to help maintain and further enhance their father’s reputation. Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert is very grateful and proud to have been entrusted with that responsibility.

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Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour

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Martin Gayford

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previous page Patrick Heron in Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, c.1977

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3

Eagles Nest Garden, May 1985 Eagles Nest Garden, May 1985 Drawing for paintings in biro, March 1977

Patrick Heron in Porthmeor Studios, St Ives with paintings in progress in 1969

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atrick Heron visited Georges Braque in his Parisian studio in 1949. For the young British painter, this must have been an extraordinary, overwhelmingly vivid experience. Almost fifty years later he recalled what he had seen that day in exact painterly detail. Braque, Heron remembered, had five easels arranged in an arc. ‘On two of them were large, late Ateliers, one almost finished and another only just begun. These were painted in thin, turpisfied paint. But there were also small landscapes and still lifes which were painted in very thick paint indeed’.2 Puzzled and intrigued, as always, by questions of brushwork and pictorial technique, Heron pointed out this discrepancy to the patriarch of Cubism, then in his late 60s. Referring to the thickness of the brushstrokes and knife strokes on the little paintings, Braque answered, ‘Naturellement, ils existent pour exprimer l’émotion directe’. The implication, the young English artist deduced, ‘that the bigger paintings don’t express emotion directly, but after prolonged contemplation’. It was a distinction Heron never forgot. Immediately after he told me this story while we were sitting in the spring sunshine at his house, Eagles Nest, outside Zennor early in 1997, Heron made a mental leap: he applied Braque’s two categories to his own work of the later 60s and 70s. ‘Those two modes, so to speak – l’émotion directe, uncontemplated and unforeseeable, and the very controlled mode – existed in all my wobbly hard-edge paintings.’ This group of works form the central element in his life’s work, Heron (1920–99) had made them over a decade and a half from the early 1960s to the late 70s. That is, all through the middle years of his career. He was 43 when he began making them and approaching 60 when he stopped. The works in this exhibition almost span the whole ‘wobbly hard-edge’ era in Heron’s art, from Dark Purple and Ceruleum : May 1965 to Ceruleum, Violet and Venetian : 1977 [cat. nos. 1 and 10].

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As the titles suggest these are pictures the whole subjects of which – indeed the actors or heroes – are colours or, more precisely, pigments: ‘Cobalt Violet’, ‘Ceruleum’ (which Heron preferred to the more common ‘Cerulean’). Ostensibly at least these are all about colour and the systematic exploration of the possibilities of paint and pigment. The oils were made in a highly unusual manner in which Heron felt he had been ‘forced’ by the nature of his project and his materials. It was ‘a different story’ with the gouaches he made during that time, because gouache (opaque watercolour) on paper behaves differently to oil paint on canvas. From his teenage years, Heron never used ordinary watercolour, always gouache, just because the latter is opaque. ‘The fact that all the colour areas are flat in themselves is important to me’, he insisted, ‘But that flatness is opaque, it’s not transparent’. So, no Turner-like veils of translucent watercolour wash for him. That would shatter ‘the unity of the surface’. With the medium of gouache, paradoxically, although the dimensions were smaller, he could use larger brushes and make bigger gestures. But both types of picture fit the name, jokey yet exact, which Heron chose to give them: ‘wobbly hard-edge’. It is a phrase which suggests Heron’s unique position, historically and aesthetically. He was at once intensely Francophile, looking towards Paris and the great tradition of French painting, but also attuned to the latest developments across the Atlantic. Put simply, the hard-edges were perhaps an American import, their wobbliness was French (while Heron himself remained quirkily and trenchantly English).

After he told me the anecdote about visiting Braque’s studio, Heron went on to explain what he meant by the contrast between ‘l’émotion directe’ and prolonged contemplation – and how it applied to his own works of the 60s and 70s. All those pictures, he said ‘were brought into existence by a line being rapidly drawn’. Heron used to fill sheets of paper with ‘things like postage stamps’, ‘miniature drawings endlessly composing these kinds of elements with a biro’ [Fig. 3]. Many such pages still exist, made up of oblongs, every one of which was a potential painting, filled with a jigsaw of interlocking lines, always organically or irregularly curving never geometrically straight or regularly rounded. These were all abstract, in the sense that they were not depictions of anything. However, Heron would later admit that they were affected, indeed could not but be affected by the surrounding landscape at Zennor [Fig. 1] in which he had lived for much of his life: the huge granite boulders [Fig. 2], the labyrinth of bronze-age fields that divided the plateau beneath his kitchen window, the complex indentations of the Atlantic coastline beyond. He acknowledged that ‘the rhythmic realities of a landscape where you live permeate your mind and your awareness, and your consciousness from the soles of your feet upwards’. This was bound to have an effect even when his main purpose was finding ‘new ways of producing a harmonious dividing up of a canvas rectangle’. ‘I drew a lot, then I thought, “Oh, I’ll do that one; so that was it”’. This then had to be transcribed onto the huge surface to be painted, not mechanically but rapidly and intuitively. ‘Those huge thirteen-foot compositions were drawn in every case in less than thirty seconds, under great emotional stress because they’re bloody expensive, those great big canvases, and you don’t want to mess them up lightly’.

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So much for the ‘l’émotion directe’; next came an extraordinarily prolonged intricate process of painting these surfaces, often quite as big as those used by Pollock or Rothko, with little Japanese watercolour brushes. It was a highly idiosyncratic way of working: the antithesis as he insisted (with relish), ‘of the hideous sprayed and rollered painting that came from America and is totally mechanical, totally flat’. Heron would squirt a large quantity of a certain colour, say Cadmium Red, into a pudding basin direct from the tube, then add turps until he had got the constituency he wanted.

This was perhaps the reason why Heron never quite produced a monochrome canvas, although as he admitted, he came very close in a work entitled Big Green with Reds and Violet : December 1962 [Fig. 5]. ‘One was tempted in a funny kind of way to paint an all-green painting, but I didn’t think Yves Klein was justified. I thought that just to have an all-one-colour rectangle removed the picture from the realm of painting’. In Heron’s view, clearly, one of the crucial aspects of his chosen art was the interrelation of colours: hence, again, you needed at minimum two of them.

Purity of colour was one of the principles he adopted for the oils in this exhibition. ‘I felt that the chromatic intensity was greatest if the colours were not mixed, diluted by other colours’. And the wobbliness of those wobbly lines was dictated by the same imperative. Colour, he told me, ‘Doesn’t really exist until it’s in juxtaposition with another’ colour. This is a similar thought to David Hockney’s observation that it is possible to create space with colours, as Matisse did with L’Atelier Rouge [Fig. 4], but the plural is important. ‘You need at least two’.

Furthermore, the quantity of the colours in question also makes a difference, a thought which goes back to Cézanne, and was echoed by Gauguin, Matisse and Soulages: ‘a kilo of green is greener than a hundred grams of the same green’. In a variation of the same remark, Matisse brought out that it’s not only a matter of weight (or density), but also of area: ‘a square centimetre of blue is not as blue as a square metre of the same blue’. Heron also pointed out that the nature of the contour between two hues affects what he called ‘the colour of the colour’, by which he meant, ‘the apparent colour of the colour’. This introduced another, contrary, effect.

Fig. 4 Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Fig. 5 Big Green with Reds and Violet : December 1962

A large expanse of a certain pigment might have more of an impact than a small one, other factors such as the quantity of turps and oil being equal. But the strength of the contrast was also affected by the nature of the edge between it and the adjoining chromatic zone. The more convoluted and jagged this boundary was, the more brilliant a certain colour would appear to be: ‘because each little jag has another colour working on it optically. As it zooms down to nothing the power of that is much bigger than it is on a bigger mass of colour’. Through the later 1960s and 70s, up to 1978, those lines tended to become more intricate and complex, culminating in works such as Complex Ceruleum in Dark Green Square : March – August 1977 [cat. no. 11] or Big Complex Diagonal with Emerald and Reds : March 1972 – September 1974 [cat. no. 4].

… To understand why Heron hit on that phrase ‘wobbly hard-edge’, however, we need to take a brief excursion into the taxonomy of art.3 Generally speaking, as Barnett Newman memorably noted, art critics and their labels are to artists as ornithology is to the birds. By that he presumably meant that the latter couldn’t care less about the former. Heron, however, was an unusual

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specimen of the artist-critic, writing eloquently and prolifically about his own work and other peoples’. Here he came up with a tag that located what he was doing accurately in the complex terrain of early 60s avant-garde art. The term ‘Hard-edge’ had been popularised by the critic Lawrence Alloway, a hugely influential figure in British avantgarde circles in the 50s and early 60s. Alloway had come across the phrase, used in passing by two West Coast critics, Jules Langsner and Peter Selz, refined it and deployed it with brilliance. As far as Alloway was concerned, ‘hard-edge’ was an invaluable tag with which to label a tendency he saw in the painting which was being done around him. This was, in most if not all cases, the kind of work that was shown in the celebrated ‘Situation’ exhibition at the RBA Galleries in the early autumn of 1960 and what a new wave of British abstract painters, people such as Robyn Denny and William Turnbull were up to. They were more youthful than Heron, a decade so in the case of Denny who was perhaps the hottest young artist in Britain in 1960. As Gillian Ayres, the only woman to be included in ‘Situation’ noted quite a few of them were essentially followers

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Paintings in progress at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, 1969

of Barnett Newman. This current was strongly supported by the American critic Clement Greenberg, later to become a bête noire of Heron’s, and included such new transatlantic stars as Kenneth Noland whose work was shown in the new and fashionable Kasmin Gallery. The ‘Situation’ show was not an immediate success. But it made an impact. It was repeated in a commercial gallery then in a travelling Arts Council show in 1962. Soon afterwards, Heron moved from one manner to another. In his Note on his painting in the catalogue to a show in Zurich in January 1963, he insisted that ‘I do not find myself “designing” a canvas: I do not “draw” the soft lozenge-shaped areas or the soft squares. And these “forms” are not really “forms” at all, anyway, but simply areas (of soft vermilion? violet? ceruleum? brown ochre?) materialising under my brush’.4 But in retrospect he felt the act of writing those words had ‘de-fused’ his desire to work in that way. Instead, Heron went into reverse. Over the next year he began to design compositions, he made drawings and worked from them, and his forms, shapes or areas of colour – whatever you term them – were more and more crisply articulated. Effectively Heron accepted the hard edges of the Situation group, and Barnett Newman followers. But he combined it with an emphasis on painterly texture and intuitive mark-making that he derived from another place entirely. The ‘wobbliness’, in large part at least, came from across the Channel.

… It is revealing that to explain the way he made the ‘wobbly hardedge’ pictures Heron turned to Braque, a great French painter of the high modernist era, and not to – say – Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly or Frank Stella. From early in his life like most British artists until the 1950s but more intelligently and intently

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than most, Heron had looked to Paris as the international capital of painting. He had grown up highly conscious of the masters of contemporary France, and especially those who were exponents of what David Hockney has called ‘French marks’: fluently beautiful strokes of the brush or pen. ‘There was a marvellous series by Braun et Cie which I carried around – twenty-four fullpage excellent colour-plates – and the Matisse was the first to come out. Others on Braque, Picasso and Bonnard followed.’ Heron was a young man with a head full of French painting. ‘I can remember the day at the Slade, in 1937, when I suddenly saw the point of Matisse. I thought “God, this actually supersedes Cézanne”.’ He was unusual then, and even more so later on, in his reverence for Bonnard who is often left out of the Pantheon of modern art altogether. But Heron revered him because of the richness of his colour and the calligraphic beauty of the strokes he made with his brush. Heron had known works by Matisse and Bonnard intimately at a formative time in his life. ‘My mother had a cousin, Geoffrey Barlow, who bought an amazing little Bonnard head of a girl, which I had seen at the Redfern Gallery, and lent it to us for the duration of the war – a sort of reward for my having persuaded him to buy it. It hung in my parents’ drawing room.’ At approximately the same time, Heron had a chance to look again and again at one of Matisse’s supreme achievements. One day in 1943, he went into the Redfern Gallery and found Matisse’s The Red Studio [Fig. 4] in a downstairs room, filling one wall: ‘I went back to look at it throughout 1944 and half of 1945, repeatedly, just to gaze at it.’ That masterpiece, Heron once said, was ‘by far and away the most influential single painting in my entire career’. It was the origin of all his works of the 60s and 70s, the era in which he made his most intrepid

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Paintings in progress at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, 1977

Patrick Heron at Eagles Nest, Zennor, 1968

and prolonged exploration of what he famously described in 1963 as the ‘continent’ of colour. In Heron’s judgement, Braque, Matisse and Bonnard were the great trio: the 20th century equivalents of the High Renaissance triumvirate of Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo. His works of the late 40s and early 50s, ‘were largely based on the French masters I so much admired, and which I was alone (with William Scott) in England, let alone Cornwall, in being influenced by at that time.’ At that time the influence of Braque was clear in Heron’s work, but by the mid-50s, the era of his wonderfully loose, virtually abstract garden paintings, Braque’s example had been succeeded by that of Nicholas de Staël, and (even more) of Bonnard and Matisse. Those two latter never left him. Late in his life he wrote with characteristic acuity and passion about a half-forgotten segment of Matisse’s massive output: the paintings the master did in the mid-1940s shortly before he turned to a less physically demanding alternative: the cut-outs. 5 By the mid-1960s this love of and allegiance to the traditions of French painting had become distinctly out of fashion among advanced artists and writers in Britain. From the moment when Abstract Expressionism made its full impact, attention began to move to a new global capital of painting in the New World. Heron himself was one of the first to herald the masters of the New York School. Writing about an exhibition at the Tate Gallery in early 1956 the first major showing of the new movement in London, Heron wrote: ‘at last we can see for ourselves, what it is like to stand in a very large room hung with very large canvases by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Franz Kline and others’.6

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He was positive about the experience, but not uncritical. On the one hand, Heron noted, he was ‘instantly elated by the size, energy, economy, and inventive daring of many of the paintings. Their creative emptiness represented a radical discovery, I felt, as did their flatness, or rather, their spatial shallowness.’ But he also had a number of important reservations. Crucially, there was ‘a lack of resonance in their colour’. None of them, he felt ‘fully understands the pictorial science of colour’. Even in the case of Pollock, ‘the major phenomenon’, Heron felt: ‘I am worried by the indefinitely expanded web or transparent veil effect: one never comes up against a resistant plane; one’s eye sinks ever deeper and deeper into the transparency of the mesh. Consequently there is a strange denial of spatial experience; from a distance this Pollock painting seems to be a great patch of fungus, only three inches in depth, there on the wall’. He was determined to paint in a quite different way himself, one that fully explored that ‘pictorial science of colour’.

… After Heron had drawn the basic topography of each ‘wobbly hard-edge’ picture at high speed and under emotional pressure to get it right, he got to work with the small brushes, gradually weaving a dense texture of strokes over the entire surface, all in one layer, never painting over anything. Heron was, as he put it, ‘slowly forced into this amazing procedure’ by several considerations. Firstly, it was vital that there should be no overlapping of one colour by another at the point at which they met. The zigs and zags of the contour had to match precisely, because ‘it was fatal for them to overlap’. If that happened, one colour lay over another which naturally created a third, which would appear as a line of – say purple – between two sectors of red and blue.

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Patrick Heron on a rock at his home, Eagles Nest, Zennor, c.1968

A line was just what Heron did not want to create – because it would interrupt the unity of his surface and also because it might suggest a distinction between figure and ground. The viewer might be tempted to see the picture as, for example, an arrangement of yellow shapes on a background of orange. And that, Heron insisted, was not what his work was about. This by the way is a widespread painter’s point of view. Lucian Freud, a very different artist, felt much the same. He objected to the word ‘background’, on the basis that it suggested that one part of the picture was merely a setting for other elements. He preferred to say ‘ground’; Heron went further and eliminated that too. All parts of a painting were equally important. The small Japanese brushes were necessary to get right up to the division between two segments of colour without going over by a millimetre. But Heron did not then fill in the remaining area of each colour with large brushes. This was because it was also important for brush-stokes of the same colour not to overlap. ‘If you took the same colour and put it on again on top of itself, it would be twice as dark for one thing, and totally different chromatically’. In addition, Heron wanted the surface of his pictures to have a rhythmic texture, visibly made by hand with a brush, and it would have interfered with that to change the size of the brushes. He took ‘immense pleasure’, he recalled, in weaving this. But it required a great deal of time, stamina and discipline. One of the last and largest of the series, Long Cadmium with Ceruleum in Violet (Boycott) : July – November 1977 [Fig. 6], took as long as it took the batsman Geoffrey Boycott to complete a famous innings in a test against Australia. Heron knew that he would have to complete a large part of this 13-foot-wide canvas (the Cadmium red) in one go. If the pigment

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Fig. 6 Long Cadmium with Ceruleum in Violet (Boycott) : July – November 1977

dried too much between one application and another you would see a line, so he could not pause. He went up and down, ‘like a ploughman ploughing a field’. He began as Boycott stepped to the wicket and carried on all day: nine hours of continuous work. Because of the method, until the painting was absolutely finished there were still areas of white. And while these remained the colours meant nothing. When the last stroke went on, ‘the whole world would suddenly pulse, as if you’d turned on the electric current’. On the other hand, until the very end nothing was sure. ‘You couldn’t put a bit on to see what it looked like’. Heron would look at the final patch of white and think, ‘Christ! There’s still time to bugger it up at the last hoop!’

… The decade and a half of Heron’s wobbly hard-edge pictures was punctuated by crises. It was initiated by a dramatic shift in his working methods in 1963. In the summer of 1967, while canoeing with Bryan Wynter a fellow painter, Heron broke his leg badly and was disabled for over a year. While he recovered it was possible only to work in gouache, the more physically demanding oils were impossible. 1

In 1978 Heron had an exhibition in Austin Texas. For the painter, an asthmatic, this was a hostile place (‘in the morning the cars look as if they’ve been sprayed yellow because of the pollen’). Heron went down with pneumonia and did little for the rest of the year. The following spring his wife Delia died suddenly. As Heron said, ‘every conceivable crisis’ struck him. By the time he began to work again, in the early 80s, his mood and the art world had changed (it was the era of ‘a new spirit in painting’). For Heron, the long period of ‘wobbly hard-edge’ was over.

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The phrase ‘the colour of colour’ comes from the title of a lecture Heron gave at the time of his exhibition in Texas in 1978, and the lecture was published as a book Patrick Heron, The Colour of Colour, E. William Doty Lectures in Fine Arts, Third Series 1978, College of Fine Arts, The University of Texas at Austin, 79–87789, pp.92. Unless otherwise noted all quotations are from my interview with Patrick Heron, conducted in 1997 and published in Patrick Heron, edited by David Sylvester, Tate Publishing, 1998, pp.18–48.

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The phrase ‘wobbly hard-edge’ first appeared in print in an article Heron wrote in 1969: Patrick Heron, ‘Colour in my paintings: 1969’, Studio International, December 1969, pp.204–5.

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Patrick Heron, ‘A Note on My Painting’, catalogue Galerie Charles Lienhard, Zurich, 1963.

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Patrick Heron, ‘Late Matisse’, Modern Painters, Vol.6, No.1, Spring 1993, pp.10–19.

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Patrick Heron, ‘The Americans at the Tate Gallery’, Arts Magazine, v.30, March 1956, pp.16–19.

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Oils


Colour in my painting: 1969 Patrick Heron

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riting about my painting seven years ago (‘A Note on My Painting: 1962’ published in Art International) I said that ‘Colour is both the subject and the means; the form and the content; the image and the meaning, in my painting today’. And becoming more didactic, I went on ‘… it is also obvious that colour is now the only direction in which painting can travel …’. Nine years before that I had also written: ‘Colour is the utterly indispensable means for realizing the various species of pictorial space.’ This was in the catalogue introduction for the exhibition which I had arranged in July 1953, at the Hanover Gallery, London, and which I had called ‘Space in Colour’.

Space in colour. To me, this is still the most profound experience which painting has to offer – this is true whatever the period, idiom or style – and it is unique to painting. Because painting is exclusively concerned with the seen, as distinct from the known, pictorial space and pictorial colour are virtually synonymous. That is to say, for the human eye there is no space without its colour; and no colour that does not create its own space. When you open your eyes, the texture of the entire visual field (which opening them reveals to you) consists of one thing; and that thing is colour. Variations in this colour texture (which sight reveals to us) are indications that form exists: but colour is there first, in that it is the medium through which form is communicated visually. And so, in manipulating colour, painting is organizing the very stuff of which sight or vision consists. That space and form can also exist in the dark, as it were, to the scientific mind, I am not denying. But is not with abstract concepts of space, on either molecular or an interstellar scale, that the painter is concerned so much as with those perfectly concrete and physical sensations of space which flood in all the time upon the human retina. And these are sensations of space apprehended in terms of colour.

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Ten years ago I used to feel that I was not ‘designing’ a canvas so much as allowing varied quantities of colour to come to terms with each other. The soft-edged colour-areas existed not so much in their own right, as formal shapes; instead, they came into being (or so it seemed) in order to accommodate colour as such: I had the feeling that ‘colour determines the actual shapes, or areas, which balance one another … in my painting’. Since 1962, however, the defining frontiers which divide one area of colour from the next in my canvases have become increasingly sharp and precise, until today they are very tightly drawn indeed. Still, the interest which had progressively compelled me, over these past seven years, to sharpen these frontiers was not, as the time, a growing – or a returning – conscious interest in design or format or form or in any sense in the shapes which my areas assumed; it was simply an obsession with the interaction of colours, one upon another. The contemplation of pure colour holds pleasures to numerous to name here; in fact there is an intense elevation in allowing awareness of colour to flood the mind and this was clear to me years before Huxley made mescaline famous; personally I am not in the least interested in what is now loosely known as psychedelic colour – the sensational and hallucinatory nature of which couldn’t be more opposed to the calm actuality of the colour I value in painting. I dislike intensely the filmy, essentially unsubstantial, transparent, veil-like revolving vapours of ‘colour’ now universally associated with ‘the psychedelic’. The sensation of space I value is one generated by plain opaque surfaces placed at a measurable distance before my face: thus, the contemplation of colour I refer to is something which heightens my acute awareness of my own physical position in relation to such surfaces, and to my actual physical environment; and not, as is the case with the psychedelic, of charming one away from physical reality. It seems to me

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that the movement of the unsubstantial rainbow lights in the psychedelic film-show tend mainly to seduce the spectator into a more or less hysteria dream world, while the fully conscious concentration upon colour relationships in painting, and upon the sort of spatial illusion they generate, is an exercise leading to a real – not an imagined – heightening of the senses. Early in 1957, when painting my first horizontal and vertical colour-stripe paintings, the reason why the stripes sufficed, as the formal vehicle of the colour, was precisely that they were so very uncomplicated as shapes. I realised that the emptier the general format was, the more exclusive the concentration upon the experience of colour itself. With stripes one was free to deal only with the interaction between varying quantities of varied colours, measured as expanses or areas. One was unconsciously resisting, perhaps, being side-tracked at that stage by the more complex interactions which are set up along the frontiers of colour-areas when those frontiers are themselves more complex in character than the relatively straight lines which separated the bands or stripes in my 1957 stripe paintings. The history of my exploration of colour since 1957 is, very roughly, the history of the extension of one’s investigation into more complicated situations involving the progressive recompilation of the pictorial format. (I stressed the need for this ‘re-complication’ in an article in Studio International for December, 1966, entitled ‘The Ascendancy of London in the Sixties’ and pointed out that the Americans were bogged down in academic minimalism.)

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All sensation of colour is relative. I mean by this that it is not until there is more than one colour in the visual field that we can be fully aware of either or any of the colours involved. If I stand only eighteen inches away from a fifteenfoot canvas that is uniformly covered in a single shade of red, say, my vision being entirely monopolized by red I shall cease within a matter of seconds to be fully conscious of that red: the redness of that red will not be restored until a fragment of another colour is allowed to intrude, setting up a reaction. It is in this interaction between differing colours that our full awareness of any of them lies. So the meeting-lines between areas of colour are utterly crucial to our apprehension of the actual hue of those areas: the linear character of these frontiers cannot avoid changing our sensation of the colour of those areas. Hence a jagged line separating two reds will make them cooler or hotter, pinker or more orange, than a smoothly looping or rippling line. The line changes the colour of the colours on either side of it. This being so, it follows that it is the linear character that I give to the frontiers between colour-areas that finally determines the apparent colour of my colours. This must be the reason why I have found myself increasingly indulging since about 1962, in ever sharper and more complex linear frontiers between my colour-areas – because I had already raised those colours to an undiluted maximum chromatic intensity by that date: yet despite this fact – that by 1962 my colours were as bright and strong in themselves as it was physically possible to make them – my works since then have appeared to get steadily more brilliant in

hue yet again. And this is attributable, firstly, to the increased sharpness of the frontiers where the areas meet; and, secondly, to their linear nature, to their ‘drawing’ in fact. And that drawing is spontaneous and unplanned. Perhaps I am the first ‘wobbly hard-edge’ painter? Complexity of the spatial illusion generated along the frontier where two colours meet is also enormously increased if the linear character of those frontiers is irregular, freely drawn, intuitively arrived at. I have always been intrigued by observing the way in which first the colour on one side and then the colour on the other side of a common, but irregularly drawn frontier dividing them, seems to come in front. As your eye moves along such a frontier the spatial positions of the colour-areas alternate – according, however, to the nature of the loops in that frontier, rather than to any change in the colours since these do not change. These, then, are a few of the considerations affecting my work and leading me into explanations which, in retrospect, have, I must say (and I am surprised to see it), the appearance of having followed a logical and consistent course. But this logic is only apparent in retrospect, I may add. In painting one proceeds intuitively, never knowing which way things are going to go. Even an account such as the one I have given here is only possible in retrospect. The ‘explanations’ I have just written down have for the most part only just occurred to me – because I am having to write something about my painting. Yet the linguistic

form one’s thoughts take, if one has been requested to write, does somehow take on the character of ‘theories’ – as though the ideas expressed in this essay preceded the paintings, they are in fact an attempt to comment on. All I can say to this is that it often takes me weeks or months to come to the point of accepting what I have painted. The only rule I followed while painting is this: I always allow my hand to surprise me (the lines of all the frontiers in my recent paintings are drawn in a matter of a few seconds): also, I always follow impulse – for instance in the choice of colours; deliberation is fruitless. But this does not mean that every act connected with the painting of the picture is not deliberate: it is.

Article first published in Studio International, Dec 1969, pp.204–205

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1 Dark Purple and Ceruleum : May 1965 Oil on canvas 60 × 84 inches; 152.4 × 213.4 cm

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2 Little Red Painting : 1966 Oil on canvas 10 × 12 inches; 25.4 × 30.5 cms

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3 Square Green with Orange, Violet and Lemon : 1969 Oil on canvas 60 × 60 inches; 152.4 × 152.4 cm

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If I stand only eighteen inches away from a fifteenfoot canvas that is uniformly covered in a single shade of red … I shall cease within a matter of seconds to be fully conscious of that red: the redness of that red will not be restored until a fragment of another colour is allowed to intrude, setting up a reaction … The meeting-lines between areas of colour … cannot avoid changing our sensation of the colour in those areas. Patrick Heron, 1969

4 Dark Red with Brown and Violet : April 1975 Oil on canvas 48 × 72 inches; 121.9 × 182.9 cm

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5 Orange in Yellow with White : 1969 Oil on canvas 30 × 48 inches; 76.2 × 121.9 cm

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6 Violet and Dark Red : 1969 Oil on canvas 38 × 48 inches; 96.5 × 121.9 cm

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‘The ‘wobbly hard-edge’ which is a feature of all my work since 1965 has itself become the source, or vehicle I should perhaps say, of what still looks to me to be a limitless variety of spatial ambiguities or mysteries. Most obvious of these spatial ambiguities or contradictions are those cases where the ‘drawing’ of the outline of a colour-area implies recession but its colour generates the opposite sensation of something protruding – or vice versa.’ Patrick Heron, ‘The Shape of Colour’, The Power Lecture in Contemporary Art, 1973

9 Big Complex Diagonal with Emerald and Reds : March 1972 – September 1974 Oil on canvas 82 × 132 inches; 208.3 × 335.3 cm

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7 Rumbold Vertical I : Emerald in Reds : February 1970 Oil on canvas 84 × 48 inches; 213.4 × 121.9 cm

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9 Orange on White : c.1972 Oil on canvas 38 × 48 inches; 96.5 × 121.9 cm

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10 Ceruleum, Violet and Venetian : 1977 Oil on canvas 12 × 16 inches; 30.5 × 40.6 cm

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11 Complex Ceruleum in Dark Green Square : March – August 1977 Oil on canvas 60 ¼ × 60 ¼ inches; 153 × 153 cm

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12 Sixteen by Twenty : January 1977 Oil on canvas 16 ¼ × 20 inches; 41 × 51 cm

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13 Violet in Mars : July – September 1977 Oil on canvas 40 × 60 inches; 101.6 × 152.4 cm

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Gouaches


A Note on my Gouaches Patrick Heron

M

y gouaches are not a substitute for the oil paintings. Nor are they preliminary sketches, or a means for trying out new colour-shapes or configurations of dovetailed colourshapes to feature in later paintings on canvas. They are works in their own right; and their quality, in fact, doesn’t even overlap with the canvases in many respects. Or so I feel.

A painting has a certain identifiable speed of execution, which it communicates. You can feel the exact speed of Van Gough’s painting hand as your eye skips across the staccato-surfaces of jabbed, separate strokes of that square-tipped brush of his. You can also physically identify with the extremely swift and broad scribble-action in Matisse; the gliding brush whose speed changes every second as it makes the painting. In my gouaches, the tempo is dictated, quite apart from the particular needs of the area-shapes I make, by the nature of the wet medium itself. I like the water in the paint mixture to lead me; to suggest the scribbled drawing which gives birth to the images.

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My gouaches have always had this fast-moving fluidity of drawing, and a softness, coming from the watery medium itself, which the oil paints cannot share. Throughout the 1970s, in fact, my gouaches and my oil paintings occupied very different departments in the field of pictorial experience. The canvases had to have a certain degree of rigidity, by comparison. It is only recently, in the development shown in my large (and small) canvases since 1981, […] that an apparently more rough and ragged paint application brings the canvases more into line with that quality of fluent, fluid colour which has been a characteristic of the gouaches for a very long time.

Written to accompany an exhibition of Heron’s gouaches at the Caledonian Club, Edinburgh, 1985

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14 Dark Red, Ultramarine, Scarlet and Venetian : March 1970 Gouache on paper 23 ¼ × 30 inches; 58.7 × 76.2 cm

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15 December I : 1972 Gouache on paper 23 ½ × 30 ½ inches; 59.4 × 77.2 cm

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16 November II : 1972

17 October VII : 1972

Gouache on paper 23 ¼ × 31 ¼ inches; 59.1 × 79.4 cm

Gouache on paper 23 × 32 inches; 58.4 × 81.3 cm

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18 October V : 1972

19 October III : 1972

Gouache on paper 23 × 32 inches; 58.4 × 81.3 cm

Gouache on paper 23 ½ × 31 ½; 59.7 × 80 cm

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20 May : 1973

21 October II : 1973

Gouache on paper 23 × 32 inches; 58.4 × 81.3 cm

Gouache on paper 23 ¼ × 31 ¾ inches; 59 × 80.6 cm

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22 December I : 1973

23 April II : 1973

Gouache on paper 23 × 31 ¾ inches; 58.4 × 80.6 cm

Gouache on paper 23 ¼ × 30 ¾ inches; 59.1 × 78.1 cm

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24 April VIII : 1973

25 [Untitled : 21], c. 1970

Gouache on paper 23 × 31 ¾ inches; 58.4 × 80.6 cm

Gouache on paper 23 ¼ × 31 ¼ inches; 59.1 × 79.4 cm

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Chronology 1965–1977

1965

1967

Invited to represent Great Britain at the VIII Bienal de São Paulo with Victor Pasmore where they won a Silver Medal. The exhibition catalogue text on Patrick was written by Sir Alan Bowness and the show toured to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago; El museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Lima; and Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas. Alongside the exhibition and its South American tour, Heron gives lectures in São Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro.

Represented in ‘Recent British Painting: The Peter Stuyvesant Collection’, Tate Gallery, London.

‘Paintings by Patrick Heron and Bryan Wynter’, the Hume Tower, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh. Invited to judge the John Moores Painting Prize alongside John Russell and Clement Greenberg. 3rd exhibition at Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York.

Visits Australia by invitation to judge Perth Festival and meets fellow judge Iris Murdoch. Lectures in Perth and Sydney includes the importance of asymmetry in painting. Edinburgh, The Richard Demarco Gallery, retrospective exhibition with catalogue text by Robert Hughes. A canoeing accident in Cornwall leaves him with a badly broken leg, as a result of which he focuses on working in gouache for the next 12 months. Makes first series of Silkscreen prints at Winchester Art School – ‘Winchester Four’. ‘Patrick Heron, the development of a painter’ by Ronald Alley published in Studio International.

1966 Writes the first of a series of essays, ‘The Ascendency of London in the Sixties’ published in Studio International, in which he discusses the initial positive response of British artists to the American ‘first generation’ and subsequently challenges the perceived supremacy of recent American art.

Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus, Patrick Heron – Ceri Richards, organised by The British Council. Heron shows 19 paintings made between 1960 and 1967. Exhibitions variously reviewed by John Russell, Bryan Robertson, Robert Hughes, Guy Brett, and Alan Bowness.

Wrote essay to Bonnard exhibition for Victor Waddington exhibition entitled ‘Bonnard 1867–1947 Drawings Gouaches Watercolours’. Edinburgh, The Richard Demarco Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition, August 1966.

Patrick Heron in Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, 1966 painting Three Cadmiums, Five Discs : April 1966

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Patrick Heron in his studio at Eagles Nest with Complex Interlocking Red, Blue, Olive, Yellow : April 1968

1968 Publishes his second essay ‘A Kind of Cultural Imperialism?’ in Studio International.

Makes a series of 15 silkscreen prints for Waddington Graphics printed by Kelpra Press. The screen-printing process was an important new area of Heron’s practice which fed into the development of the ‘wobbly hard-edge’ paintings at the time.

Oxford, The Museum of Modern Art, A retrospective exhibition of paintings 1957–66 with a catalogue essay by Alan Bowness.

Exhibition of Kelpra Prints, includes Patrick at the Hayward Gallery, London.

Three solo exhibitions of gouaches in London, Leeds and Oxford.

Work including in ‘British Painting and Sculpture 1960–1970’ exhibited in National Gallery of Art Washington, USA.

1969 ‘Colour in my painting’ published in Studio International in which Heron describes the principles of his art and his unique approach to colour.

1970 December – publishes a third and final essay in his series on British relationship with American art in Studio International, ‘Two Cultures’.

Publishes ‘Murder of the Art Schools’ in The Guardian, an article reflecting his long and active involvement in art education as well as his support for the independence of publicly funded art schools, followed by widespread public debate and publications. Exhibition of Silkscreen prints at University of Exeter. The Student Union purchase a painting.

Resumes polemic on the current perception of contemporary American art in a lecture at the ICA, London, entitled ‘Symmetry in Painting: An Academic Formula’.

1972

For a year he is invited to use a studio on Rumbold Street in London near to his flat on Edith Grove, all works completed here are titled ‘Rumbold …’.

The exhibition ‘Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings and Selected Earlier Canvases’ opens at The Whitechapel Gallery in London including Dark Purple and Ceruleum : May 1965 and Rumbold Vertical One : Emerald in Reds : February 1970.

Solo exhibition for Harrogate Festival of Arts and Sciences, Harrogate, Yorkshire. Participates in ‘British Painting and Sculpture, 1960–79’ organised by Tate Gallery and the British Council at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

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1971

Wrote ‘Colour and Abstraction in the Drawings of Bonnard’ for American Federation of Arts, New York.

Makes a series of 19 silkscreen prints for Waddington Graphics printed by Kelpra Press.

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Big Complex Diagonal with Emerald and Reds : March 1972 – September 1974 in progress at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives

1973

1975

Delivers ‘The Shape of Colour’ – a series of three talks he delivered at the 5th Power Lecture in Contemporary Art at the University of Sydney, also given at Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth.

New works exhibited at Waddington Galleries, London.

First exhibition at the Bonython Gallery in Sydney.

Touring exhibition British Painting 1900 – 1960.

Represents Great Britain at the first Sydney Biennale held in the Opera House.

1976

Participates in the major international arts festival ‘Europalia ‘73’ in Brussels, held every two years to celebrate an invited country’s cultural heritage. It was established in Brussels in 1969, and 1973 was the year it celebrated Great Britain’s cultural heritage. Solo exhibitions in Birmingham at the Midland Art Gallery and at Compendium Art Galleries.

1974 ‘The Shape of Colour’ essay by Patrick Heron published by Studio International. The Guardian publishes a 13,800-word essay over three days by Heron, ‘The British Influence on the School of New York’, looking at the misrepresentation of influence promoted by American critics.

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Paintings in progress at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, 1977

Wrote obituaries for Bryan Wynter, Roger Hilton and Barbara Hepworth.

Major interview of Patrick Heron published in Artscribe, Vol II, Spring.

1977 Participates in ‘British Painting 1952–1977’ at The Royal Academy of Arts in London. Heron invited to show Cadmium with Violet, Scarlet, Emerald, Lemon and Venetian : 1969. Invited to deliver the E William Doty Lecture University of Texas, ‘The Colour of Colour’ and to install an exhibition of paintings from previous twelve years. This resulted in two publications providing opportunities for his detailed analysis and reflection on the previous writing and painting.

Exhibited at the Skinner Galleries, Perth, Western Australia.

1977–78

Screenprints exhibited ‘Prints on Prince Street’, New York.

Major exhibition at the University of Texas, Austin held in 1978.

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Patrick Heron Biography 1920–1999

P

atrick was born in Headingly Leeds, in 1920. In 1925 the family moved to Cornwall, and lived in Newlyn, Lelant and St Ives and in 1927, briefly at Eagles Nest in Zennor. His father Tom Heron worked as general manager for Crysede where he was engaged in commissioning and overseeing the production of hand-printed silks. In 1929 they left Cornwall for Welwyn Garden City. Tom started his own company as Cresta Silks where he further developed his ideas of commissioning artists to design textiles, with McKnight Kauffer’s graphics and Wells Coates as architect of the factory and new Cresta shops. Evidence of a precocious talent was recognised and nurtured by Patrick’s parents, who carefully saved all his juvenilia and made sure that at school he could spend most of his time in the art room. He had the benefit of an indulgent and intelligent art master who introduced him to the work of French artists, notably Cezanne.

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beginning of his prolific career as a painter. He was also actively engaged in current critical discourse. He wrote regularly for The New English Weekly and in 1947 he delivered a series of lectures for the BBC Third Programme; he was art critic for the New Statesman and Nation from 1947 to 1950. He met the critic Clement Greenberg in 1954, and in 1955 became the London correspondent for ARTS, New York. In that year, a selection of his essays were published in London and the US as The Changing Forms of Art.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Patrick registered as a conscientious objector, and spent the following years undertaking bleak work in ‘alternative service’ and with little opportunity to paint. During the last years of the war he was able to relocate to St Ives, working at the Leach Pottery where Bernard Leach provided a familiar creative environment, intellectual stimulus and engagement with other artists.

Heron’s first solo exhibition was at the Redfern Gallery in 1947 and he continued to exhibit there regularly during the 1950s. Patrick and Delia purchased Eagles Nest in 1955, the family spent the summer there and moved from London in spring 1956. This was a transformative moment that gave rise to an intense period of new painting, as well as being a sort of homecoming as he returned to places of his childhood. In 1956 his fifth solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery included his ‘Tachiste Garden Paintings’ and was followed in 1957 by the first showing of his ‘Stripe’ paintings in a group show entitled Metavisual, Tachiste, Abstract. Painting in England Today. That year he moved to Waddington Galleries where he remained throughout his life, exhibiting regularly. He made a vow to stop writing which proved to be short-lived.

In 1945 Patrick married Delia Reiss and they moved to live in London. From here he visited Paris and they spent some winter months in 1948/9 in the South of France. He had developed an intense interest in French art that would take him to Paris to see the work of Matisse and Bonnard. Most significantly he was able to paint again, and this marks the

The availability of large studio space at Eagles Nest enabled a larger scale of canvases. He focused on painting surrounded by the wild beauty of Cornish landscape, and ever-changing light and colour. In 1958 Heron took over Ben Nicholson’s studio at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, which inspired larger paintings to be made without external visual distraction. The

studio had large north-east skylights and walls uninterrupted by windows. This enabled gallery-scale paintings and perhaps his first truly abstract works – ‘horizon’ and ‘garden’ disappear from the titles. In 1960 Heron’s first solo exhibition in New York was at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery, and in the same year he held his first solo exhibition at Waddington Galleries. In 1959 he had been awarded the Grand Prize by an International Jury at the Walker Art Gallery’s John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 6 and in 1965 he received the Silver Medal at the VIII Bienal de São Paulo. Retrospective exhibitions were shown at the Richard Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh, 1967; at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, 1968; and in 1972 accompanying a major showing of recent works at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. From 1966, Heron published a series of articles in Studio International in which he challenged the perceived supremacy of recent American Art. These articles were provocative and continue to be discussed. In 1968, Patrick suffered a fractured leg in a canoeing accident, and whilst unable to paint large canvases he made many works on paper using gouache, which allowed him to stand at a table to paint at Eagles Nest. This new medium made an important extension to his oeuvre that continued for the rest of his life. From the early seventies, he began to make silk screen prints, initially at Winchester Art School and subsequently with Chris Prater of Kelpra Press for Waddington Graphics. These new mediums enabled further explorations and innovations.

Heron first visited Australia in 1967 lecturing in Perth and Sydney, and this started a long association with Australia. He showed at several galleries including the Bonython Gallery in Sydney. He returned to Australia in 1973 representing Great Britain in the inaugural Sydney Biennale and touring the Australian states with his lecture The Shape of Colour. He was Invited in 1977 to deliver the E. William Doty Lectures in Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Austin, a series of three lectures, given under the title The Colour of Colour 1 which were delivered in 1978. At the same time a retrospective of his work, Paintings 1965 – 1977, was shown at the Austin Art Museum. These lectures and the exhibition catalogue were published as books providing testament to an extraordinary body of paintings. The effort of this took its toll and, on his return, after attending his exhibition in Cardiff, Patrick succumbed to exhaustion and pneumonia. Then in 1979 Delia died suddenly, and for a time everything came to a halt, before he has able to start something new, and take a new direction. In 1985 a retrospective was organised at the Barbican Centre, London, with an illustrated catalogue, and in 1987 Heron was included in the major exhibition at the Tate Gallery entitled St Ives 1939 – 1964. After this period Heron collaborated in several architectural projects including the major coloured glass window at Tate St Ives, coloured banners at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and a public commission Big Painting Sculpture at Stag Place in Victoria (due to be relocated in 2022). Amongst his commissions Patrick made significant portraits many of

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Cataloguing of the Oil Paintings

which are held in national museums including the National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Heron was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1980 until 1987, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the RCA having previously received equivalent accolades from the Universities of Kent and Exeter. He was awarded CBE in 1977 but refused a knighthood proposed during the Thatcher years.

A major retrospective of Patrick’s paintings was held at the Tate Gallery in London under the direction of Nicholas Serota in 1998, curated by David Sylvester, for which a fully illustrated catalogue including essays by A.S. Byatt and Martin Gayford was published. Patrick Heron died on 20 March 1999 at Eagles Nest in Zennor.

1 Dark Purple and Ceruleum : May 1965 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PAT R I C K H E R O N’ ‘ D A R K P U R P L E A ND C E R U L E U M : M AY 1 9 6 5’ (verso) 60 × 84 inches; 152.4 × 213.4 cm

3 Square Green with Orange, Violet and Lemon : 1969 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON ’ ‘SQUARE GREEN WITH ORANGE, VIOLET AND LEMON : 1969’ (verso) 60 × 60 inches; 152.4 × 152.4 cm

COLLECTIONS

COLLECTION S

Waddington Galleries, London; Jonathan Clark, London; Private collection; Collection of Mrs Wolfson, UK; Private collection, UK

Patrick Heron; Private collection, UK; Private collection, Canada EXHIBITED

EXHIBITIONS

From 1989 to 1990 Patrick Heron was again invited to Australia and this time as Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. This visit was extended at his request. He worked in a studio adjacent to the exotic Botanical Gardens where he walked every day soaking up the brilliant colours of Australian plants. Such stimuli and enthusiasm resulted in an unprecedented amount of new work - fifty paintings and gouaches in under four months. In 1994 he was invited to make new work to show at Camden Arts Centre and produced a series of daringly large paintings for the exhibition simply entitled Big Paintings. It was a revelation to the younger generation who had not previously seen his work. Mel Gooding’s monograph on Patrick’s life and work was published by Phaidon in the same year.

[1] Patrick Heron, Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour, E. William Doty Lectures in Fine Arts 1978, The University of Texas, Austin, 1979

Edinburgh, The Richard Demarco Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings by Patrick Heron, June – July 1967; New York, Bertha Schaefer, Patrick Heron, October 1965, cat. no.1; Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, Patrick Heron: a retrospective exhibition of paintings 1957–66, 21 May – 15 June 1968; London, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings and selected earlier canvases, 21 June – 16 July 1972; St Ives, Tate, Patrick Heron, 16 May – 30 September 2018, travelling to Margate, Turner Contemporary, 19 October 2018 – 6 January 2019 LITERATURE

The Richard Demarco Gallery (ed.), Retrospective. Patrick Heron, The Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, 1967, cat. no.80; Museum of Modern Art (ed.), Patrick Heron. A retrospective exhibition of paintings 1957–66, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1968, cat. no.41; Andrew Wilson (ed.), Sara Matson (ed.), Éric de Chassey, Matthew Collings, Robert Holyhead and Sarah Martin, Patrick Heron, Tate, Pavilion Books Company Ltd, London, 2018, pp.42 (illus.), 121, 153; Alan Bowness, Patrick Heron, Patrick Heron, Recent paintings and selected earlier canvases, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1972, cat. no.20, unpaginated, (illus.); Andrew Wilson (ed.), Sara Matson (ed.), Éric de Chassey, Matthew Collings, Robert Holyhead and Sarah Martin, Patrick Heron, Tate, Pavilion Books Company Ltd, London, 2018, pp.42 (illus.), 121

2 Little Red Painting : 1966 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON ’ ‘LIT TLE RED PAINTIN G : 1966’ (verso) 10 × 12 inches; 25.4 × 30.5 cm

London, The Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, 12 January – 7 February 1970; London, Tate Gallery, Patrick Heron, 25 June – 6 September 1998; St Ives, Tate, Patrick Heron, 16 May – 30 September 2018, travelling to Margate, Turner Contemporary, 19 October 2018 – 6 January 2019 LITERATURE

The Waddington Galleries (ed.), Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, London, 12 January – 7 February 1970; David Sylvester (ed.); A. S. Byatt, Martin Gayford, Patrick Heron, Tate Gallery Publishing Limited, London, 1998, p.102 (illus.), cat. no.51; Andrew Wilson (ed.), Sara Matson (ed.), Éric de Chassey, Matthew Collings, Robert Holyhead and Sarah Martin, Patrick Heron, Tate, Pavilion Books Company Ltd, London, 2018, pp.19, 22 (illus.), 65, 153

4 Dark Red with Brown and Violet : April 1975 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON ’ ‘DARK RED WITH BROWN AND VIOLET : APRIL 1975’ (on the stretcher bar) 48 × 72 inches; 121.9 × 182.9 cm COLLECTION S

Patrick Heron; Heron Family EXHIBITIONS

London, The Waddington Galleries II, Patrick Heron: Paintings 1971–1975, 6 – 31 May 1975; Texas, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965 – 1977, 28 March – 7 May 1978

COLLECTIONS

Patrick Heron; Heron Family

LITERATURE

The Waddington Galleries II (ed.), Patrick Heron paintings 1971–1975, The Waddington Galleries II, London, 1975; Patrick Heron, R. C. Kenedy, Alan Bowness, Kelly Fearing et.al, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965–1977, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Austin, Texas, 1978, cat. no.22, p.68

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5 Orange in Yellow with White : 1969 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON’ ‘ORANGE IN YELLOW WITH WHITE : 1969’ (verso) 30 ½ × 48 inches; 77.5 × 121.9 cm Patrick Heron; Heron Family

7 Big Complex Diagonal with Emerald and Reds : March 1972 – September 1974 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON ’ ‘BIG COMPLEX DIAGONAL WITH EMERALD AND REDS : MARCH 1972 – SEPTEMBER 1974’ (on the stretcher bar) 82 × 132 inches; 208.3 × 335.3 cm

EXHIBITIONS

COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS

London, The Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings, 12 January – 7 February 1970; Harrogate, Harrogate Festival of Arts and Sciences, Gallery Caballa, Patrick Heron – recent paintings, gouaches, screenprints, 4 – 15 August 1970; Paddington, New South Wales, Bonython Art Gallery, Patrick Heron – Recent Paintings, 16 June – 17 July 1973 LITERATURE

The Waddington Galleries (ed.), Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, London, 1970; Patrick Heron, Harrogate Festival of the Arts and Sciences, Gallery Caballa, Harrogate, 1970, unpaginated (illus. bw); Patrick Heron, Bonython Art Gallery (ed.), Patrick Heron – Recent Paintings, Bonython Gallery, Sydney, 1973, cat. no.1

6 Violet and Dark Red : 1969 Oil on canvas Signed ‘PATRICK HERON ’ (verso), titled and dated ‘VIOLET AND DARK RED : 1969’ (on the stretcher bar) 38 × 48 inches; 96.5 × 121.9 cm

EXHIBITIONS

London, The Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, 12 January – 7 February 1970 LITERATURE

The Waddington Galleries (ed.), Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, London, 1970;

EXHIBITIONS

London, The Waddington Galleries II, Patrick Heron: Paintings 1971–1975, 6 – 31 May 1975; Texas, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965–1977, 28 March – 7 May 1978; London, Waddington Custot Galleries, Patrick Heron, Paintings 1970 –1984, 25 February – 20 March 2004; St Ives, Tate, Patrick Heron, 16 May – 30 September 2018, travelling to Margate, Turner Contemporary, 19 October 2018 – 6 January 2019 LITERATURE

The Waddington Galleries II (ed.), Patrick Heron paintings 1971–1975, The Waddington Galleries II, London, 1975, cat. no.3, p.3 (illus.); Ben Jones (ed.), James Faure Walker, Brandon Taylor & Patrick Heron (Interviewee), Artscribe no.2 Spring 76, Artscribe, London, 1976, p.4 (illus.); Patrick Heron, R. C. Kenedy, Alan Bowness, Kelly Fearing et.al, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965–1977, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Texas, 1978, cat. no.62, p.117 (illus.); Kelly Fearing, Patrick Heron, The Colour of Colour. E William Doty Lectures in Fine Arts, Third Series 1978, The University of Fine Arts, Austin, Texas, 1978, unpaginated plates (illus.); Waddington Custot Galleries (ed.), Patrick Heron, Paintings 1970 –1984, Waddington Galleries, London, 2004, cat. no.3, unpaginated, front cover (illus.); Andrew Wilson (ed.), Sara Matson (ed.), Éric de Chassey, Matthew Collings, Robert Holyhead and Sarah Martin, Patrick Heron, Tate, Pavilion Books Company Ltd, London, 2018, pp.50, 65, 80–81 (illus.), 153

COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS

Patrick Heron; Heron Family

Patrick Heron; The Artist’s Estate; Mr S Salih (D + B Art); Waddington Custot, London; Private collection, London EXHIBITIONS

10 Ceruleum, Violet and Venetian : 1977 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON ’ ‘CERULEUM, VIOLET AND VEN ETIAN : 1977’ (on the stretcher bar) 12 × 16 inches; 30.5 × 40.6 cm COLLECTIONS

Patrick Heron; Heron Family

11 Complex Ceruleum in Dark Green Square : March – August 1977 Oil on canvas Signed, titled, dated ‘PATRICK HERON’ ‘COMPLEX CERULEUM IN DARK GREEN SQUARE : MARCH – AUGUST 1977’

8 Rumbold Vertical One : Emerald in Reds : February 1970 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON’ ‘RUMBOLD VERTICAL ONE : EMERALD IN REDS : FEBRUARY 1970’ (verso) 84 × 48 inches; 213.4 × 121.9 cm COLLECTIONS

Patrick Heron; Heron Family EX H IB ITIO N S London, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings and selected earlier canvases, 21 June – 16 July 1972; Paddington, New South Wales, Bonython Art Gallery, Patrick Heron – Recent paintings, 16 June – 17 July 1973; Leeds, Leeds City Art Gallery, on a 6-month term loan in a display curated by Jeremy Lewison; Margate, Turner Contemporary , Seeing Round Corners, 21 May – 25 Sep 2016; St Ives, Tate, Modern Art and St Ives 1915–65, 14 October 2017 – 30 September 2021, (only exhibited at Tate, St Ives) LITERATURE

Alan Bowness, Patrick Heron, Patrick Heron, Recent paintings and selected earlier canvases, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1972, unpaginated, cat. no.29, p.22 (illus.); Patrick Heron, Bonython Art Gallery (ed.), Patrick Heron – Recent Paintings, Bonython Gallery, Sydney, 1973, cat. no.7; Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, Phaidon Press, London, 1994, pp.192 (illus.), 193, 200; David Sylvester (ed.), A. S. Byatt, Martin Gayford, Patrick Heron, Tate Gallery Publishing Limited, London, 1998, p.108 (illus.)

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12 Sixteen by Twenty : January 1977 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON ’ ‘SIX TEEN BY T WENT Y : JAN UARY 1977’ (on the stretcher bar) 16 × 20 inches; 40.6 × 51 cm

Patrick Heron; Heron Family

COLLECTIONS

Patrick Heron; Heron Family

9 Orange on White : c. 1972 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘ PATRICK HERON’ ‘ORAN GE ON WHITE : C. 1972’ (on the stretcher bar) 38 × 48 inches; 96.5 × 121.9 cm

(on the stretcher bar) 60 × 60 inches; 152.4 × 152.4 cm

London, The Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Paintings 1970–1984, 25 February – 20 March 2004 LITERATURE

Waddington Custot Galleries (ed.), Patrick Heron, Paintings 1970 –1984, Waddington Galleries, London, 2004, cat. no.6, unpaginated

13 Violet in Mars : July – September 1977 Oil on canvas Signed, titled and dated ‘PATRICK HERON’ ‘VIOLET IN MARS : JULY – SEPTEMBER 1977’ (on the stretcher bar) 40 × 60 inches; 101.6 × 152.4 cm COLLECTIONS

Patrick Heron; Heron Family EXHIBITIONS

Patrick Heron; Waddington Galleries, London; Private Collection, UK; Private Collection, UK

London, The Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, 12 January – 7 February 1970; Texas, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965 – 1977, 28 March – 7 May 1978; London, Riverside Studios, Patrick Heron Paintings, 10 September – 4 October 1981; St Ives, Tate, Patrick Heron, 16 May – 30 September 2018, travelling to Margate, Turner Contemporary, 19 October 2018 – 6 January 2019

EXHIBITIONS

LITERATURE

COLLECTIONS

London, Waddington & Tooth Galleries, Patrick Heron – Gouaches, November – December 1977; Austin, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Paintings by Patrick Heron, 1965 – 1977, 28 March – 7 May 1978; Sheffield, Mappin Art Gallery, The Presence of Painting – Aspects of British Abstraction, 1957 – 1988, November 1988 – January 1989, travelling to Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, January – March 1989; Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, April – May 1989, cat. no.32 LITERATURE

Patrick Heron, R. C. Kenedy, Alan Bowness, Kelly Fearing et.al, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965–1977, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Texas, 1978, cat. no.31, front cover (illus.), p.69; Kelly Fearing, Patrick Heron, The Colour of Colour. E. William Doty Lectures in Fine Arts, Third Series 1978, The University of Fine Arts, Austin, Texas, 1978, p.33, unpaginated plates (illus.); Vivien Knight (ed.), Patrick Heron, Patrick Heron, With selected Writings, John Taylor Book Ventures & Lund Humphries International, London, 1988, p.117 (illus.); Mappin Art Gallery (ed.), Hatton Gallery (ed.), Ikon Gallery (ed.), South Bank Centre (ed.), The Presence of Painting : Aspects of British Abstraction 1957–1988, with intro by Michael Tooby, Southbank Centre, 1988; Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, Phaidon Press, London, 1994, p.205 (illus.)

The Waddington Galleries (ed.), Patrick Heron: Recent paintings, London, 1970; Patrick Heron, R. C. Kenedy, Alan Bowness, Kelly Fearing et.al, Paintings by Patrick Heron 1965–1977, The University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Texas, 1978, unpaginated (illus.); Kelly Fearing, Patrick Heron, The Colour of Colour. E William Doty Lectures in Fine Arts, Third Series 1978, The University of Fine Arts, Austin, Texas, 1978, pp.22–23, unpaginated plates (illus.); Mel Gooding, Patrick Heron, Phaidon Press, London, 1994, p.204 (illus.) Andrew Wilson (ed.), Sara Matson (ed.), Éric de Chassey, Matthew Collings, Robert Holyhead and Sarah Martin, Patrick Heron, Tate, Pavilion Books Company Ltd, London, 2018, pp.32 (illus.), 33, 153

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Patrick Heron Solo Exhibitions 1965–1977

1965 New York, Bertha Schaefer Gallery, Patrick Heron, 4 – 23 October 1965 Edinburgh, Hume Tower, Patrick Heron, Bryan Wynter: Paintings, 30 August – 11 September 1965 (with Bryan Wynter) 1965–1967 São Paulo, VIII Bienal de São Paulo, toured to: Rio de Janeiro, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro; Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes; Santiago, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo; Lima, Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo; and Caracas, Instituto de Cultura y Bellas Artes (representing Great Britain with Victor Pasmore) 1967 Dublin, Dawson Gallery, Exhibition of gouaches, 15 February – 1 March 1967 London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings, 2 – 27 May 1967 Edinburgh, Richard Demarco Gallery, Patrick Heron: Retrospective, June – July 1967 Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus, Patrick Heron, 21 October – 12 November 1967 (with Ceri Richards) 1968 Leeds, Park Square Art Gallery, Patrick Heron: Gouaches, 1 – 26 October 1968 Oxford, Bear Lane Gallery, Patrick Heron: gouaches & graphics, 4 May – 1 June 1968 Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, Patrick Heron: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, 1957–66, 21 May – 15 June 1968 London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron, 2 – 27 July 1968 1970 Montreal, Waddington Fine Arts, 1970 Toronto, Mazelow Gallery, 1970 Sydney, Rudy Komon Gallery, 1970, toured Australia London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings, 12 January – 7 February 1970 Harrogate, Gallery Caballa, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings, Gouaches, Screenprints, 4 – 15 August 1970

90

Patrick Heron Group Exhibitions 1965–1977

1971 Exeter, University of Exeter, Devonshire House, Exhibition of Paintings by Patrick Heron, November 1971

1967 London, Tate Gallery, Recent British Painting (Collection of Peter Stuyvesant, toured to: South Africa and Australia

1974 London, Rutland Gallery, Some Significant British Artists: 1950–1970 London, Hayward Gallery, British Painting 74

1972 London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings, and Selected Earlier Canvases, 21 June – 16 July 1972

1968 London, Waddington Galleries, Works on Paper Hamburg, Kunstverein, Britische Kunst Heute London, The Arts Council, Painting 64–67

1975 Massachusetts, Lincoln, Cordova Museum, The British Are Coming

1973 London, Hester Van Royen Gallery, 1973 Sydney, Bonython Art Gallery, Patrick Heron: Recent Paintings, 16 June – 7 July 1973 Birmingham, Compendium Galleries, Patrick Heron: Exhibition of Work, 10 – 28 July 1973 Birmingham, Midlands Arts Centre, Patrick Heron: Perception: The Shape of Colour II, 22 November – 12 December 1973 London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron, 28 November – 21 December 1973 1974 Perth, Skinner Galleries, 1974 New York, Prints on Prince Street, 1974 1975 London, Waddington Galleries, Patrick Heron: Paintings 1971–1975, 6–31 May 1975 London, Rutland Gallery, Patrick Heron: Paintings 1958–1966, May 1975 Bath, Festival of Bath, Festival Gallery, 1975

1970 London, Hayward Gallery, Kelpra Prints Washington D.C, National Gallery of Art, British Painting and Sculpture 1960–1970

1977 London, The Royal Academy, British Painting 1952–1977 London, The New Art Centre, Cornwall 1945–1955 1977–78 British Council, Colour en la Pintura Britannica, toured to: Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia and Mexico

1972–73 London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Decade: Painting, Sculpture and Drawing in Britain 1940–49, toured to: Southampton, City Art Gallery; Carlisle, Public Library, Museum & Art Gallery; Durham D.L.I. Museum and Arts Centre; Manchester, City Art Gallery; Bradford, City Art Gallery; Aberdeen, Museum and Art Gallery 1973 Sydney, First Biennale Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Europalia 73, Great Britain: Henry Moore to Gilbert and George

1977 Paris, Galerie Le Balcon des Arts, Terry Frost et Patrick Heron, June – August 1977 (with Terry Frost) London, Waddington & Tooth Galleries, Patrick Heron: Gouaches 1970–1977, 29 November – 23 December 1977

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Published by Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert On the occasion of the exhibition Patrick Heron: The Colour of Colour Paintings 1965 – 1977 7 October – 17 December 2021 Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert 37–38 Bury Street London SW1Y 6BB Texts © Patrick Heron © the Estate of Patrick Heron 2021 Martin Gayford © the author 2021 Catalogue © Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert Ltd All works by Patrick Heron © the Estate of Patrick Heron, All Rights Reserved, DACS 2021 ISBN: 978-1-9162061-1-3 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronica, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the publishers.

Designed by Isambard Thomas at Corvo Colour separation by DawkinsColour Ltd Printed by Gomer Press Limited

ACKOWLEDGEMENTS AND PHOTO CREDITS

All works are on loan from the Heron Family except for cat. nos. 1, 3, 11 and 12. Unless stated otherwise all images are courtesy of the Estate of Patrick Heron 2021. Fig. 1–2 Photographs by David Ward © David Ward Fig. 4 © Succession H. Matisse / DACS 2021 pp. 13, 81 Photographs by David Ward, © David Ward p. 14 Photographs by Jorge Lewinski, © Jorge Lewinski p. 19 Photograph by Patrick Heron, © the Estate of Patrick Heron pp. 21–22 Photograph by Mark Trompeteler, © Mark Trompeteler pp. 79–80 Photographs by Delia Heron, © the Estate of Patrick Heron p. 82 Photograph by Patrick Heron, © the Estate of Patrick Heron Cat. nos. 2, 4–6, 9–11, 13, 16–19, 20–22, 24 and 25, photographs by John Bodkin, © John Bodkin Cat. nos. 12, 14, 15 and 23, photographs by Andy Smart, © A. C. Cooper Cat. no. 8, photograph by Bob Berry, © Bob Berry The publishers have made every effort to trace the relevant copyright holders and apologise for any omissions that may have been made.

I M A G E D E TA I L S

Jacket: Violet and Dark Red : 1969 [cat. 6, detail] pp. 2–3 Little Red Painting : 1966 [cat. 2, detail] pp. 6–7 Square Green with Orange, Violet and Lemon : 1969 [cat. 3, detail] pp. 10–11 Ceruleum, Violet and Venetian : 1977 [cat. 10, detail] pp. 24–25 Violet in Mars : July - September 1977 [cat. 13, detail] pp. 58–59 May : 1973 [cat. 20, detail] pp. 76–77 Orange on White : c. 1972 [cat. 9, detail] pp. 84–85 Eagles Nest, 1979, photograph by Peter Yapp, courtesy the Estate of Patrick Heron 2021 pp. 92–93 October VII : 1972 [cat. 17, detail]