Gallery 3: Rose Hilton – Artists on Artists

Roger Hilton, ‘January 1957’ 1957
Roger Hilton
January 1957 1957
© The estate of Roger Hilton

This diverse group of Modern French and late English Modernist works of art has been selected by Rose Hilton from the Tate Collection. Presenting major works from the National Collection has been a regular element of exhibitions at Tate St Ives, many being seen in Cornwall for the first time.

These artists have particularly inspired and influenced Hilton’s practice and, although not a definitive group, relationships are evident in her approach to subject, colour and treatment of paint.  For example, the experimental and fresh approach in Winifred Nicholson’s painting Sandpipers, Ainmouth, where the scene is evoked through simple areas of colour and line.

The painting January 1957 by Roger Hilton is both improvisatory and expressionistic, with the surface of the paint broken up and lines freely drawn and left visible as part of the composition. This technique has been used by Rose Hilton frequently and can be seen clearly in Summer Forms for example, downstairs in the curved gallery.

Roger Hilton taught Rose that abstraction in itself is nothing and for an abstract painter to progress they must re-invent figuration. He saw abstraction as only a step towards a new sort of figuration, one that for him was more ‘true’.