Heron is above all concerned with colour which, he says, is 'both the subject and the means; the form, and the content, the image and the meaning in my painting ...' He has made it clear that the stripes are simply vehicles for the colour: 'Early in 1957, when painting my first horizontal and vertical colour-stripe paintings, the reason why the stripes sufficed as the formal vehicle of the colour was precisely that they were very uncomplicated as shapes. I realised that the emptier the general format was, the more exclusive the concentration upon the experiences of colour itself'. Interestingly, Heron has described the colour composition of this painting in musical terms, writing of '... the stratified spatial bars which ascend in chords of different reds, lemon-yellow, violet and white up the length of my vertical canvas. This particular horizontal stripe painting was made to be part of a new interior scheme for the London offices of the publishers Lund Humphries, which were being refurbished by the architect Trevor Dannatt. The scheme featured a suspended ceiling of wooden slats whose alignment was parallel to the bars of Heron's painting when installed in its given position, a relationship which Heron found extremely intriguing. The commission was given on the basis of Heron's previous horizontal stripe paintings and the painting remains wholly independent when removed from its original setting, as occurred in 1970.
Simon Wilson, Tate Gallery: An Illustrated Companion, Tate Gallery, London, revised edition 1991, p.222