Patrick Heron (1920-1999), Flowers in a Window: October, 1952


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Signed and dated
Gouache, pencil and watercolour
11 x 5 ½ in (28 x 14.5 cm)

Collections: The Redfern Gallery,1983 when bought by Professor Jack Hagstrom (1933 -2019); Doyle’s, NY October 6, 2021 (3) when bought by the previous owner Literature: To be included in the upcoming Patrick Heron Catalogue Raisonne
Exhibited: New York, Brooklyn Museum British Watercolours and Drawings of The 20th Century 1953-4 (18) – Touring Exhibition (Catalogue not traced)

We are grateful to Andrew Wilson, editor of The Patrick Heron Catalogue Raisonne, for confirming the provenance and the title of this work.
Flowers in a Window: October 1952 is an early work done before Heron’s move to Cornwall. At this stage he is a figurative painter, the exuberant colouring of the present work reflecting his love of French School artists such as Matisse and Bonnard. Heron described his thought process as: ‘’ My own handling, my own colour sense was infinitely more Matissian and always had been – and at times Bonnardian. My paintings never looked like Braque. Braque is full of straight lines, ruled lines, and submerged, indeed not very submerged, cubist geometry, of a very severe nature. There is nothing like that in my paintings, My pictures are always fluid in a Matissian way’’.
(D. Slyvester Patrick Heron Tate Exhibition Catalogue,1998, p.25).

This drawing was included in a touring exhibition in America in 1953 -Heron’s first exposure in America.

The exuberant colour demonstrates Heron’s allegiance to Bonnard and Matisse and, of course, his knowledge of contemporary American abstract painting. Alan Bowness writes that Heron’s work of this period is ‘’suffused with light and colour and full of positive life-enchanting qualities so free and so refreshing’’.

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