Ivon Hitchens

Abstract Composition


Not on display

Ivon Hitchens 1893–1979
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 679 × 1019 mm
frame: 771 × 1114 × 79 mm
Purchased 1980

Display caption

Hitchens's work in the twenties consisted of landscape and still life painted in a manner providing evidence of his interest in Cézanne and Matisse. By 1932 his still lifes had become more abstract revealing the influence of Cubism and particularly of Braque. 'Abstract Composition' is one of Hitchens's most abstract paintings and was executed in the year that the Seven and Five exhibition was open only to painters and sculptors of abstract works of art. Nevertheless Hitchens retained the vestiges of representation. This painting is based on a view of a garden seat on the right (three parallel lines), with some sunflowers in the centre.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry


Not inscribed
Oil on canvas, 26 3/4 × 40 3/8 (68 × 101.9)
Purchased from the artist's estate through the Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Lit: Alan Bowness (ed.), Ivon Hitchens, 1973, p.29, repr.pl.155
Repr: Catalogue of Ivon Hitchens: A Retrospective Exhibition, Arts Council exhibition, Tate Gallery, July–August 1963 (16 repr., but not in exhibition)

'Abstract Composition’ was painted in the back garden at 169 Adelaide Road, Primrose Hill, where Ivon Hitchens lived from c.1919 until the house was hit by a bomb in 1940. It was based on a view of a garden seat on the right (the three parallel lines), with some sunflowers in the centre. According to Mrs Hitchens the Tate's painting ‘Coronation’ of 1937 (T00728) was also based on flowers in this back garden.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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