Roger Hilton

January 1957


Not on display

Roger Hilton 1911–1975
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 660 × 660 mm
frame: 699 × 699 × 43 mm
Purchased 1958

Display caption

This is one of the first works Hilton painted in St Ives following his move to Cornwall in 1956. In early 1950s he made highly abstract work that saw him associated with constructionist painters. But, at the time this work was made his painting became more improvisatory and expressionistic; the surface of the paint is broken up and lines are freely drawn. Hilton’s techniques included palette knife, brush and drawing straight from the paint tube. In 1957 he wrote ‘A creative artist is a man who is struggling with an idea … The greatest artist will be the one who most completely lets the medium shoulder the idea.’

Gallery label, April 2019

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Catalogue entry

T00173 JANUARY 1957 1957
Inscr. on back, ‘Roger Hilton Jan. 1957’.
Canvas, 26×26 (66×66).
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1958.
Exh: Metavisual, Tachiste, Abstract Painting in England To-day, Redfern Gallery, April–May 1957 (148), as ‘Painting, 1957, I’; 50 Ans de Peinture abstraite, Galerie Creuze, Paris, May–June 1957 (165); I.C.A., February–March 1958 (20, repr.).
Repr: Connoisseur, CXLVIII, 1961, p.313.

Painted at St Ives in the spring of 1957, this was the first of a series. It was painted just before a picture of the same size purchased by the Contemporary Art Society which is also non-figurative.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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