Ivon Hitchens 1893-1979

Ivon Hitchens was the pioneer of the abstracted vision of the landscape that is one of the key ideas of British Modernism in the 20th Century. He was a founder member of the Seven & Five Society, the influential group of painters and sculptors, that was responsible for bringing the ideas of the European avant-garde to London in the 30s.

 

However, he never felt totally at home with purely non-objective art, preferring to structure his work so that it preserved a sense of illusionistic space, even if it was equally about the harmonious arrangement of pure colour and form across a flat surface. After his London studio was bombed in 1940, Hitchens moved with his family to a gipsy caravan in the middle of the Sussex countryside, where he embarked on the landscapes - using long horizontal canvasses traditionally reserved for seascapes and panoramas - that were to define his career. In his later years, his work became increasingly abstracted, the brush mark and colours taking on a language of their own far removed from the motif, so that they became less landscapes and more a kind of visual music.

 

Works by Ivon Hitchens have been shown extensively both nationally and internationally, with retrospectives held at the Royal Academy in 1979 and the Serpentine Gallery in 1989. He is represented in numerous public collections in Britain and abroad, including the Tate Gallery Courtauld Institute, Victoria & Albert Museum, Arts Council & The Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.