Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Patrick Heron (1920-1999)

Nude in Wicker Chair

Details
Patrick Heron (1920-1999)
Nude in Wicker Chair
signed and dated 'P. Heron/51' (lower left); signed, inscribed and dated 'NUDE IN/WICKER CHAIR/1951/PATRICK/HERON/53 ADDISON AVE/HOLLAND PARK W11.' (on the reverse)
pencil and oil on canvas
40 1/8 x 24 in. (102 x 61 cm.)
Painted in 1951.
Provenance
Katherine Heron, the artist's daughter, from whom acquired by Dr Jeffrey Sherwin.
Literature
The Wakefield Times, 10 April 1952, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, British Surrealism and Other Realities: The Sherwin Collection, Middlesbrough, Institute of Modern Art, 2008, p. 75, illustrated.
S. Levy and T. Pirsig-Marshall (ed.), exhibition catalogue, British Surrealism in Context: A Collectors Eye, Leeds, City Art Gallery, 2009, p. 160, illustrated.
Art Daily, Mystery identity of the person in Patrick Heron’s painting ‘Nude in Wicker’ is revealed by his daughter, 27 September 2012, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Redfern Gallery, Patrick Heron, 1951, catalogue not traced.
Wakefield, City Art Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Patrick Heron, April – May 1952, no. 71: this exhibition travelled to Leeds, The University, May 1952; Halifax, Bankfield Museum, May - June 1952; Scarborough, The Art Gallery, July - August 1952; and Hull, The Ferens Art Gallery, August - September 1952.
Sweden, Arts Council, Ten Contemporary British Painters, 1953-54, no. 20; and travelling, catalogue not traced.
London, Redfern Gallery, Abstract, Cubist, Formalist, Sur-realist, April – May 1954, no. 470.
Norwich, Castle Museum, Contemporary British Art, 1954-55, catalogue not traced.
Middlesbrough, Institute of Modern Art, British Surrealism & Other Realities: The Sherwin Collection, May – August 2008, exhibition not numbered.
Leeds, City Art Gallery, British Surrealism in Context: A Collectors Eye, July - November 2009, exhibition not numbered.
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.

Lot Essay


In 1949 Patrick Heron painted the art critic Herbert Read (National Portrait Gallery, London), at the recommendation of T.S. Elliot who had previously sat for him. The portrait was a resounding success and when exhibited at the Redfern Gallery in 1950, David Sylvester commented in his review 'Heron was becoming less dependent upon the Master...If [some of the paintings] are still dominated by Braque's idiom, they have a peculiarly astringent intensity that is quite foreign to Braque ... Now it seems that we may know him in the future as an artist with a personality of his own.' (M. Gooding, Patrick Heron, London, 2008, pp. 66-76).
Nude in Wicker Chair, painted in 1951, shows this newly found confidence, simultaneously exploring the world of light and object, and the workings of his own eye and intellect. In order to free himself of the constraints of unfamiliar compositions to pursue these formal explorations Heron would paint the familiar sitters of his wife and children. Indeed the present work depicts his wife Delia. Although not titled, Susanna Heron "Knew straight away that it was my mother. I could tell from her collar bone and her hip" and Heron himself commented "In my own work I have an irrepressible desire to comment upon that visual reality which my eyes actually encounter every day. 'Reality' may be, as Gabo says, a matter of electrons, or whatever. Nevertheless, our human eyes have not changed in their natural capacity: we still do not see the electrons: we still see a rush-bottomed chair; a coffee-pot, a girl cut in half by a shaft of sunlight." (P. Heron, Art is Autonomous, Painter as Critic, p. 98).
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