Roger Hilton

Figure, February

1962

Medium
Oil paint and charcoal on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1473 x 1829 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1970
Reference
T01183

Display caption

'Figure, February 1962' is one of a number of large, overtly figurative paintings which Hilton began to paint in 1961. When first shown these works provoked dismay and amazement from previous admirers. In the early 1950s turning from figurative imagery to abstraction had been provocative. A decade later, for an abstract painter to paint figurative images seemed equally shocking. Also, the kind of figuration practised by Hilton seemed outrageous. It is not straightforwardly imitative or representational. As in this case, Hilton's figures have an awkwardness which recalls the direct, uninhibited quality of children's art. Yet this is married with a knowing sensuality, and a suggestive eroticism, which contradict any impression of naivety.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Roger Hilton b. 1911
T01183 FIGURE, FEBRUARY 1962
Not inscribed.
Oil and charcoal on canvas, 58×72 (147.5×183).
Purchased from Arthur Tooth & Sons (Grant-in-Aid) 1970.
Exh: British Art Today, San Francisco Museum of Art, Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts and Santa Barbara Museum of Art, November 1962–April 1963 (37, repr.); Critic's Choice, Arthur Tooth & Sons, February 1970 (1, as ‘Figure’).

[no further text]


Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970

Explore