Acclaimed British artist Patrick Heron (1920 – 1999) will be celebrated in a retrospective exhibition opening at the Tate St Ives on May 19th, the first major show of his work for twenty years.
One of the most significant and innovative figures of twentieth century British art, Heron was a massive influence in the development of post-war abstract art. His work is a visual sensation of light, colour and vibrancy.
Born in Leeds, Heron spent his early childhood in Cornwall. The family left after five years, but Heron returned for a year from 1944-45 when he worked for Bernard Leach at the Leach Pottery in St Ives. Heron’s work at the pottery led him to meet many of St Ives current rising star artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Falling in love with Cornwall once more, Heron proceeded to spend every summer there until 1956, when he moved permanently to Zennor.
Heron was a man of many talents and whilst he was foremost a painter he also dabbled in many other forms of creative media’s. He designed silk scarves from the age of 14 for his father’s company Cresta and even designed the beautiful stain-glass window seen at the entrance of Tate St Ives.
The new exhibition, opening May 19th, will offer visitors a rare opportunity to experience the sheer scope and ambitious scale of Heron’s work. Featuring work spanning over fifty years, the exhibition will be showcasing 45 colour saturated paintings from public and private collections around the world.
And to encourage everyone to explore the realms of colour, the Tate St Ives will be holding a variety of activities for families over the summer period. Grab a paint brush and get colouring in the Big Paint Chaellenge as you transform Foyle Studio into an exhibition of artworks inspired by Patrick Heron’s work and experiment in the Colour Lab by mixing up your own colours.
Don’t forget if you are a resident in Cornwall you can pick up a Tate St Ives Local’s Pass for the introductory price of £5 for a year of free entry to the gallery. Go to www.tate.org.uk for more information.