Patrick Heron British, 1920-1999

Patrick Heron was an abstract painter, textile designer and writer on art, whose work was devoted to the analysis of natural forms and colours. He is widely considered one of the greatest British painters of the Twentieth Century.


Born in Yorkshire (1920) Heron began his career early. While still at school he began painting and his first design for his father’s textile factory was successful. He studied at the Slade School of Art before the war, then in 1945 moved to London to become an art critic.


He later taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London (early 50’s) before moving to Eagle’s Nest at Zennor, near St Ives where he spent the rest of his life working with the leading artists of the St Ives School. From 1960, the year of his first solo show in New York, and for the following four decades Heron exhibited regularly in Britain and internationally. 


Heron was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1980-1987, turned down a knighthood under Margaret Thatcher (Heron was a lifelong socialist and pacifist) and declined to become an RA. The Tate Britain held a major retrospective of his work in 1998, the year before he died. His work is held in many public collections in Britain including The British Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, the Tate, the V&A, the Southampton City Art Gallery, and the Otter Gallery, Chichester and internationally.