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Although abstract, Hilton's work during the early 1950s has an impressionistic quality inspired by Bonnard's garden paintings. In 1953 Hilton's painting changed dramatically. Following a visit to Amsterdam and the Hague, where he was able to study Mondrian's painting, his ideas regarding space, form and colour were revolutionised. He ceased to regard the painting surface as if it was a window. Instead the forms are built up on it, emphasising its flatness. He also greatly simplified his use of shape and colour, restricting himself, as in this painting, to lines and squares in primary colours and black and white. These 'neo-plastic' works eliminate illusion and emphasise the physical, object-like quality of the painting.

August 2004