• 20th Century British Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5886

    20th Century British Art

    16 December 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 131

    Roger Hilton (1911-1975)

    Untitled 67

    Price Realised  


    Roger Hilton (1911-1975)
    Untitled 67
    signed and dated 'HILTON/'67' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    30 x 36 in. (76.3 x 91.4 cm.)

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    The present work and lot 132 are examples of Hilton's last years of using the medium of oil in his work. With his permanent move to Cornwall in 1965, Hilton's output slowed and in 1972 he turned exclusively to gouache and poster paints as a painting medium due to ill health. Despite spending time in prison and periods 'drying out' at St Lawrence's hospital, his reputation as an artist was growing at this time and in 1968 he received an M.B.E.

    Of this period Lambirth comments: 'In many ways Hilton was at the top of his career, and the height of his fame. His work had actually reached its peak by now, and public taste was busy catching up with his remarkable achievement' (A. Lambirth, Roger Hilton, The Figured Language of Thought, London, 2007, p. 204).

    During the late 1960s, Hilton explored the dialogue between abstraction and figuration. His works during this period shifted between totally abstract compositions and figurative works. Even in the present work which does not obviously refer directly to the human body, one can discern Hilton exploring the boundaries between abstraction and figuration in his use of curves hinting at body-like shapes. Hilton remarked in 1961 'Abstraction in itself is nothing. It is only a step towards a new figuration, that is one which is more true' (R. Hilton, 'Remarks about Painting', Roger Hilton, Zurich, 1961, unpaginated).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    The artist's estate.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 30 May 1997, lot 113, where purchased by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    London, Waddington and Tooth Galleries, Roger Hilton: Works from the Sixties & Seventies, March 1977, catalogued not traced.