I understand
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1920 – 1999

June Horizon
Oil on canvas
182.5 x 92.5 cm
Purchased with aid from the Gulbenkian Fund, 1961 © The Estate of Patrick Heron. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones


Born in Headingley in Leeds, he spent his childhood in Cornwall and Welwyn Garden City.  He moved to London in 1945, and returned to settle in Zennor in 1955. Also a critic at that time, he regularly reviewed contemporary exhibitions in a number of journals including Arts New York.    The move to Cornwall and a new large studio, enabled a prolific period of painting including this one.

The dense mark-making evident in his earlier work has been replaced by a focus on formal values such as flatness of composition and colour balance. Heron explained that he was aiming for ‘an exclusive concentration on the experiences of colour’.

Helen Kapp, Wakefield Art Gallery’s Director in the 1950s, championed Heron’s work and organised his first retrospective exhibition in 1952.