Ivon Hitchens

Winter Stage


Not on display

Ivon Hitchens 1893–1979
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 591 × 1556 mm
frame: 822 × 1797 × 119 mm
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1938

Display caption

Hitchens’s art typifies the fusion of modern painting principles and earlier British art. The sculptural blocks of colour indicate his interest in the work of Paul Cézanne and the shallow space shows his debt to Georges Braque. The long, horizontal format and muted palette, however, link his work to the English landscape tradition of Gainsborough, Constable and Turner. This was painted in Sussex, which Hitchens would later make his home.

Gallery label, July 2007

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Catalogue entry

N04923 WINTER STAGE 1936
Inscr. ‘Ivon Hitchens’ b.r.
Canvas, 23 1/4×61 1/4 (59×155·5).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1938.
Coll: Purchased by the C.A.S. from the Lefevre Gallery 1937.
Exh: Lefevre Gallery, February–March 1937 (15), as ‘Winter Stage’; Venice Biennale, 1956 (British Pavilion, 1), as ‘Winter Stage - Moatlands Park’; British Council tour, Munich, Vienna, Paris and Amsterdam, 1956–7 (1); Arts Council, Tate Gallery and tour, 1963 (17).
Repr: Painter and Sculptor, 11, No.3, 1959, p.4.

The artist confirmed (letter of 12 November 1957) that this was painted in 1936 from the loggia at Moatlands Park, near East Grinstead, Sussex, the home of Mr and Mrs Cecil Harris, where he often painted during the late 1920s and early 1930s. (See also N05368.)

Writing later from Lavington Common, he added (23 November 1957): ‘Mr and Mrs Cecil Harris were good friends who out of kindness invited a London captive to enjoy and paint on their beautifully wooded corner of Sussex thereby enabling me to carry on an affection for painting autumn woodland scenes first developed in Shropshire in the darkly mysterious autumn landscapes of the Welsh border. A little of that quality survives about here at this time of year so that when a kind fate - in rather a strange manner - led us to settle here, I was able to sustain the continuity of these subjects which appealed to me. Thus Moatlands was really the link between Shropshire and now.’

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

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