Patrick Heron at Tate St Ives

Patrick Heron at Tate St Ives

1992
Christmas Eve 1951
Five discs 1963
Pale Garden Painting 1984
Red Garden 1985

Seeing this wonderful collection of paintings by Patrick Heron, with works at this large scale and alongside each other and from different periods, with one painting relating to another: intense colour, the pleasure of following a line across the canvas, the detail of a pattern, abstraction, looking from one shape/pattern to another around the canvas – this was an intense, exciting and joyful experience.

 

 

Here are the main ideas he persued:

 

Unity

Heron strived for a balance across the canvas, the forms and colours interconnected by their position and their visual affect together, so that each area of colour/shape ” is as important within the painting as any other”.

 

Explicit scale

He always considered the balance of elements within a painting in relation to the edges, and the scale of this relationship. Also scale was about intensity of colour as a well as the different sizes.

 

The edge

His canvases often have clusters of shapes/colour/pattern close to the edge. This was important for him, ass we continually come to the edge of the painting and then return inwards, into the composition. The edge of the canvas is where we as the viewer “switches out of the language of the painting and back to the three-dimensions of the real world”. Also the edges within the paintings, where one colour/shape sits adjacent to another.

 

Asymmetry and re-complication

His arrangements of colour-shapes are asymmetrical, with “changes of gear” and thus creating a quality of “re-complication”.

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