Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more POST-WAR BRITISH MODERNISM FROM THE PARNASSUS COLLECTION
Patrick Heron (1920-1999)

Disc Fragments in Red: June 1965

Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
Disc Fragments in Red: June 1965
signed, inscribed and dated 'Patrick/Heron/Disc Fragments/in Red: June/1965' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
48 x 52 in. (122 x 132.1 cm.)
with Waddington Galleries, London, May 1966, where purchased by the previous owner.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 22 November 2002, lot 96.
New York, Bertha Schaefer, Patrick Heron, October 1965, no. 44.
Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, Patrick Heron A Retrospective 1957-1966, May - June 1968, no. 43.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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André Zlattinger
André Zlattinger

Lot Essay

Patrick Heron's Disc fragments in red: June 1965 sings with vibrant colour. The interlocking forms in gradations of red and orange introduce an engaging game of contrasts that is only heightened by the darker, tail-like area to the right of the canvas. These planes of glowing colour are held in a delicate balance, creating a dynamic tension that underpins the entire composition. These abstract shapes hint at geometry, yet are emphatically painterly and gestural. Meanwhile, the intense colours add a flickering, flame-like energy to the work.

Two years before Disc fragments in red: June 1965 was painted, in 1963, Heron had begun to plan his compositions through drawing the shapes in charcoal directly onto the canvas. Although these paintings were initially inspired by the hard-edged modernism that Ben Nicholson demonstrated in his geometric reliefs, Heron's evident brushmarks convey an organic element in the works. From 1965, the shapes themselves became freer and asymmetrical and there is no division, unlike earlier works, between the coloured forms and the ground that they are painted on. Instead, as in Disc fragments in red: June 1965, the sense of depth is explored through the juxtaposing of pure colour areas.

Vivien Knight writes that in Heron's paintings of the period, '"line" existed only as the meeting edge between colour areas. Heron recognised that the character of their mutual boundary conditioned the perception both of theirrelative spatial positions and of their colours: the sharper and more irregular their complex, fretted, interlocking edge, the more intensely adjacent colours would interact. Only a single skin of pure colour was applied, gaining brilliancy from the white priming beneath; the ground was prevented from appearing at the surface (and dulling the interaction of the colours) by Heron's method of painting exactly up to each colour boundary with a small Japanese watercolour brush' (V. Knight, Patrick Heron, London, 1988, pp. 12-3).

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