Ivon Hitchens, painted to be listened to

Hitchens_FlowerPiece43_Sheffield-670x1024

Flower Piece 43 Sheffield 670 x 1024

Hij woont in de stad. Hij koopt een stuk land op het platteland. Daarop zet hij een primitieve caravan. Daarna bouwt hij er een atelier, gevolgd door een huis. Hij woont er er met vrouw en zoon en werkt er.
De geschiedenis van Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) schilder die door het (te) vele werk dat hij produceerde het beste van zijn oeuvre camoufleerde.
Zeventig van zijn doeken worden nu in de Pallant House Gallery in Chicester UK tentoongesteld met ‘Space through colour’ als motto.

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Mixed Poppies

Bekijk het filmpje: zijn naaste medewerker vertelt er over de werkwijze van de schilder terwijl enkele van zijn merkwaardige doeken worden belicht.
Je kunt heel moeilijke woorden gaan zoeken om compositie, kleurgebruik, inzicht en uitzicht te omschrijven. Je kunt hem linken of op zoek gaan naar multiple verschijningsvormen van het abstracte.

De schilder zelf: ‘My pictures are painted to be listened to and its dance plays off depth against width.’
Beter kan ik het niet omschrijven.
Schilderwerk om ook te beluisteren en de beweging er in speelt diepte en breedte tegen elkaar uit.

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A Standing Jar of Flowers 64.8 x 88.3 cm

Natuurlijk is er de ruimte door het licht van zijn penseel: niet alleen de kleuren die op zichzelf en hun vormelijkheid aanwezig zijn, maar door hun onderlinge wisselwerking voor tonaliteiten zorgen waarin de structuur  gaat meespelen.

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Cloud study c1948 oil on canvas 14×87 cm

De liefde voor het licht laat je  geluiden vermoeden, tussen het bewegen van de wind in de bomen en muziek die de verte met het heel nabije verzoent. Het intieme met het wijdse van het landschap.

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Studio-with-open-door c.1942

Ivon Hitchens (1893 – 1979) is much-loved for his landscape paintings featuring swathes of bright colour, many painted in the open air surrounding his secluded Sussex home. Yet there is more to the artist than the post-war work for which he is best known. This exhibition, the largest on Hitchens since 1989, considers the whole scope of the British painter’s career, which spanned a remarkable six decades.

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Flowers Pallant 940 x 1024

Hitchens was a progressive artist in the 1920s and ‘30s. He was one of the earliest members of the experimental Seven and Five Society alongside Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. He also tapped into what was happening on the continent, particularly in France. Whilst looking to Cèzanne and Matisse in particular, Hitchens chose to focus on the subject matter right in front of him – the landscapes of Sussex, as well as flower paintings, interiors and studies of the nude and of family members.

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Hitchens Spring Mood 33 Joanthan Clarck 1024 x 721

His retreat from London to Sussex at the outset of the Second World War gave rise to an extraordinary body of paintings that were international in spirit despite being rooted in the English landscape. During this time he painted repeatedly at his home near Petworth, and at surrounding locations in the South Downs – Heyshott, Didling and Iping Common in particular. The last decade of his life saw a heightening of his palette, as he spent more and more time at his holiday coastal cottage at Selsey.

https://pallant.org.uk/whats-on/ivon-hitchens-space-through-colour/

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Border Days 25 Ashmolean 1024 x 917

“The constant transition of natural light provided him with endless inspiration; subtle tonal divisions contrasting with white areas of the canvas that allow the eye to rest. They are works defined by an astonishing structural integrity.” (Lambirth)

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Woodland Walk and Farm Fields 1972  42 x105,5 cm

“When you look at Hitchens’ landscapes, you’re also looking at rhythm and different divisions going through the image. That’s why he favoured working on long, thin canvases, because they could be split up into three or four sections that played out visually like movements in a symphony.” (Lambirth)

Hitchens, Ivon, 1893-1979; River Scene at Holbrook and Molly in a Boat

River scene at Hoolbrook and Molly in a Boat

“What I see and feel, I try to reduce to patches and lines of pigment, which have an effect on our aesthetic consciousness, independent of (though interpreting) the facts of nature in terms of a relationship of all the parts.”

Autumn Composition, Flowers on a Table 1932 by Ivon Hitchens 1893-1979

Autumn Composition, Flowers on a table 1932

In art historical terms, the biggest influence felt in Hitchens’ work is that of Cezanne. Not only did he find Cezanne’s approach to deconstructing the motif helpful to his own work but in the same way that Cezanne was able to paint his own artistic vision of Provence, Hitchens dedicated much of his career to depicting his beloved East Sussex. His approach to painting is enormously indebted, as with the majority of twentieth century artists to Cezanne’s insistence on conveying the underlying structure of his motif. The viewer is always aware of the backbone of the subject matter and how all components fit together. (Charlotte Riordan)

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Woman playing the piano, ca 1932 (57 x 46cm)

In a conscious effort to distract the viewer from immediately and instinctively seeking a recognizable figurative pattern, a conventional three dimensional object, Hitchens paints in a way which first demands that we explore the two dimensional canvas: the juxtaposition of cool and warm shades, light and dark tones, a variety of edges, textures and organic lines. Then and only then do we identify the flowers bowing their heads towards the viewer, perhaps the blue sky seen through a window on the left. It is not three-dimensional shading that conveys the presence of the flowers in conventional perspective but rather the layering of fields of colour one on top of each other that implies recession into space. The compositional elements in this flower piece take on a general structural role, and Hitchens, not unlike Cezanne, blurs the lines between still life and landscape, the area on the left becomes a general sign for the sky whereas the dark linear shape on the right could be a wall by a country lane or a fence.
(Charlotte Riordan)

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Still Life 1932 (sold for £79.250)

“I love flowers for painting. One can read into a good flower picture the same problems that one faces with a landscape, near and far, meaning and movements of shapes and brush strokes. You keep playing with the object.” 

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Curved Barn 22 Pallant 1024 x 689

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