In 1956, Heron had bought Eagle’s Nest, perched above the cliffs at Zennor in Cornwall. Immediately its sheltered garden, full of camellia and azalea, burning bright with colour, provided inspiration – for the so-called ‘garden paintings’: large, often vertical-format works that steer a course between the loose figuration of late Monet and the very latest mode of abstraction from Paris, tachisme, the European version of New York Abstract Expressionism, in which the brushstroke – or tache – represents nothing but itself and its own making. However, what was to be the more lasting influence was the white light of West Penwith – a promontory surrounded on three sides by sea – which is at its most dazzling at Zennor, high above a vast panorama of sea, which is ink black under cloud but bright as chrome when the sun hits it. This environment allowed Heron to create a form of painting that is purely about colour, unrestrained by representation and metaphor. In Blue Painting (Squares and Disc), the blue lozenges dance and refract on a shallow surface and then suddenly appear deep and profound. Similarly the two areas of pink appear both behind and in front of the blues that surround them, an optical effect as much to do with their shape as it is to do with colour or weight of paint, and all the time one senses the paint layers beneath, visible at the edges of the shapes and also echoing within areas of what initially seem to be flat colour.
Inevitably, Heron’s work of this period is seen in comparison to that of Mark Rothko – who came to Cornwall in August 1959 (the year he was working on the Seagram Murals) to meet those artists he knew of and admired, painting with a freedom he felt difficult to achieve in New York. Yet paintings such as the present work, or the vertical and horizontal ‘stripe’ works of the previous year, are radically different from Rothko’s formal, hieratic works. They are more dynamic, complex – in both colour and handling – and in a way closer to Pollock in their surface tension. Yet like Rothko, and unlike Pollock, in the end they are about a deep saturation of the mind’s eye, with colour unchained.
The Estate of Patrick Heron is preparing the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the Artist's work and would like to hear from owners of any works by Patrick Heron, so that these can be included in this comprehensive catalogue. Please write to The Estate of Patrick Heron, c/o Modern & Post-War British Art, Sotheby's, 34-35 New Bond Street, London, W1A 2AA.
A Retro Racing Watch for the Modern Man
First Look: A Nearly Impossible Collection of the Most Legendary Wines
10 Dazzling Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family Collection
First Look: Relive the 1990s Through the Collection of Damien Hirst’s Legendary Manager
Market-leading Contemporary Art Sales in Asia
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
L'inscription pour l'enchère en ligne est fermé pour cette vente . Voulez-vous regarder la vente en direct?Visionner La Vente En Temps Réel