from Abstract to Non-Figuration \Patrick Heron

The first of Heron's 'stripe' paintings to be seen in public was Horizontal, one of those made in the extraordinary burst of March, 1957.

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The implications of his own vehemence here are unequivocal: Heron was of the converted. In the clearest terms possible this is a critical acknowledgment of the significance at that moment in history of New York painting.

Again, a painting is not something which exists in order to convey meaning; on the contrary, 'meaning' is something which attache itself to that independent, autonomous object which is a picture' .

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This play with two or three distinct types of pictorial space -- perspectival, atmospheric, relative -with varying registers of depth and shallowness -was to be a vital aspect of Heron's painting from now on, a functional dynamic in the complex visual music of his art. Colour and the arrangement of color-shapes; chromatic and tonal variations; the infinitely expressive repertoire of brushwork and over-painting, stroke and mark, impasto, scribble and wash; these were the other elements of a more complex kind of composition.

download.php?file=1600107&embedded=1&textbox=1600103 Heron's commitment to the idea of the painting as an autonomous object, conterminous with the image it carried, had been confirmed by his idiosyncratic, and somewhat ambivalent, reading of recent American painting.

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