“But see Hitchens at full pitch and his vision is like the weather, like all the damp vegetable colours of the English countryside and its sedgy places brushed mysteriously together and then realised. It is abstract painting of unmistakable accuracy.” – Unquiet Landscape (p.145 Christopher Neve)
The work of British painter Ivon Hitchens (1893 – 1979) is much-loved for his highly distinctive style in which great swathes of colour sweep across the long panoramic canvases that were to define his career. He sought to express the inner harmony and rhythm of landscape, the experience, not of how things look but rather how they feel. A true pioneer of the abstracted vision of landscape, his portrayal of the English countryside surrounding his home in West Sussex would go on to form one of the key ideas of British Modernism in the 20thCentury.
A founding member of the Seven & Five Society, the influential group of painters and sculptors that was responsible for bringing the ideas of the European avant-garde to London in the 30s, Hitchens was progressive long before the evolution of his more abstracted style post-war. Early on he felt a compulsion to move away from the traditional pictorial language of art school and towards the development of a personal language. His move to the Sussex countryside in the 1940’s, after his London studio was bombed, was a major turning point towards the development of that language. He spent the next 40 years at his secluded home in the woods, deeply absorbed by the landscape surrounding him, forming what would become his signature style.
This exhibition looks to highlight the legacy of his vision and its lasting impact on both the work of his peers and contemporaries, and beyond, to contemporary landscape painters of today. As well as the five works that will be on display by Ivon Hitchens, the exhibition will feature works by eight other artists; William Crozier, Patrick Heron, Howard Hodgkin, Winifred Nicholson, Lindy Guinness, John Hitchens, Calum McClure and Olivia Stanton. The work in the show ranges from 1948 – 2019, allowing for the opportunity to trace the influence of one of Britain’s most cherished modern artists across seven decades.
An exhibition of works by Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) and some of those he worked alongside and those he influenced;
William Crozier (1930-2011)
Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017)
Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981)
Lindy Guinness (b.1941)
John Hitchens (b.1940)
Calum McClure (b.1987)
Olivia Stanton (b.1949)