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Patrick Heron Shaping Colour: Prints 1956-1999

Explore the full evo­lu­tion of his print­mak­ing oeu­vre, bring­ing togeth­er almost fifty years of graph­ic works.

Explore the full evolution of his printmaking oeuvre, bringing together almost fifty years of graphic works. The twenty-two prints on display, which come directly from the artist’s estate, begin with his first full experimentation in the medium in 1956 and end with the final work he made in 1999 for The Brushworks Series, completed on the morning of the day that he died.

Known foremost as a painter, Heron also worked in a variety of media, from the silk scarves he designed for his father’s company Cresta Silks to stained-glass windows. He made a small body of printed work throughout his lifetime, picking it up at important points in the development of his pictorial language. These intense periods of creativity often came about as the result of opportunities to work with master printmakers working in etching, lithography and screenprinting. Together with his paintings, Heron’s graphic works explored scale, composition and, most importantly, the interaction of colour. The prints often evinced a direct response to the light, colour and shapes that he encountered every day in the idyllic setting of his home in a spectacular location on the West Penwith peninsula in Cornwall. The exhibition begins with a group of lithographs, including Red Garden (1956) and Blue and Black Stripes (1958). Made up of patches and touches of ink, with one shade overlapping another, Heron referred to these compositions as “shapes in colour”.
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