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Patrick Heron Shaping Colour: Prints 1956-1999

  • 10 Sep 2022 - 31 Oct 2022
  • 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Free
  • Burton Art Gallery
  • Prints

Known foremost as a painter, Heron also worked in a variety of media, from the silk scarves he designed for his father’s company Cresta Silks to stained-glass windows. He made a small body of printed work throughout his lifetime, picking it up at important points in the development of his pictorial language. These intense periods of creativity often came about as the result of opportunities to work with master printmakers working in etching, lithography and screenprinting. Together with his paintings, Heron’s graphic works explored scale, composition and, most importantly, the interaction of colour. The prints often evinced a direct response to the light, colour and shapes that he encountered every day in the idyllic setting of his home in a spectacular location on the West Penwith peninsula in Cornwall. The exhibition begins with a group of lithographs, including Red Garden (1956) and Blue and Black Stripes (1958). Made up of patches and touches of ink, with one shade overlapping another, Heron referred to these compositions as “shapes in colour”. Towards the end of the 1970s, Alan Cristea, who had worked with Heron throughout the decade to distribute his prints, suggested Heron try colour etching with aquatint. This combination added the texture and depth seen in Heron’s paintings to prints such as Blue Day Disc : 1979 (1979).