‘Colour is both the subject and the means; the form, and the content, the image and the meaning in my painting today...It is obvious that the colour is now the only direction in which paintings can travel...Painting, like science, cannot discover the same things twice over; it is therefore compelled in those directions which the still undiscovered and the unexplored dictate...we are still only at the beginning of our discovery and enjoyment of the superbly exciting facts of the world of colour’ - P. Heron
Red in Red and Violet and Naples in Lemon with Green: 1962 displays Heron’s mastery with colour and form. In 1956 Heron had moved with his family to Zennor, on the Cornish coast, close to St Ives. Mel Gooding describes that this marked a point of departure in the artist’s work, shifting from ‘dramatic decisiveness, from a stylised figuration with clear links to the later work of Braque and Matisse to a radical abstraction’ (M. Gooding, Patrick Heron, London, 1998, p. 16). Another definitive event around this time was the first exhibition of Abstract Expressionism at the Tate in January 1956, which Heron reviewed for the journal Arts. The exhibition included work by Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko, and it was the first time that post-War American artists had been shown in London. The following year Leslie, aged 24, joined his father’s gallery in Cork Street. He broadened the gallery’s horizons, promoting Patrick Heron and his fellow St Ives school artists, as well as their British and American contemporaries.