Ivon Hitchens (English, 1893-1979). Oil on canvas still life painting titled "Poppies on a White Ground" depicting flowers in a vase, 1973-75. Signed along the lower right. Painted in the artist's characteristic style with vibrant and bright colors. With a label from Waddington and Tooth Galleries along the verso. Included is an exhibition poster from the artist's Retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London which ran from March 21 to April 25, 1979.
Provenance: Roger Sherman, Esq.; Waddington and Tooth Galleries, Ltd., London; Private Minnesota Collection.
Ivon Hitchens was the son of landscape painter Alfred Hitchens. He studied at St. John's Wood School of Art and the Royal Academy in London during World War I. In 1922 he became the founding member of the Seven and Five Society and began exhibiting his work that same year. He subsequently became a part of the "London Group" in the 1930s. This group included Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Naum Gabo, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, and Leon Kossoff. His work during this period was often painted with natural earth-tones such as muted greens and browns.
In 1940 during World War II, his home and studio in Hampstead was destroyed during a bombing, forcing the artist to relocate. He and his wife Mollie settled in Sussex where they lived first out of a caravan which he then gradually supplemented with additional buildings. The six acres of woodland that they moved to became his home and muse for the next 40 years.
The muted tones that characterize his early works were replaced with a brighter palette. Landscapes became his forte, utilizing abbreviated fields of color perceived from a landscape instead of exact renderings. His work changed little after his move to the countryside and he remained consistent in his style until his death in August of 1979. The present work is an excellent example of his countryside paintings. His palette includes energetic reds to represent the poppies, bright blue for their vessel, and vibrant yellow and green as the background. The white ground allows the colors to pop forward, engaging the viewer.
His work was part of the 1956 Venice Biennale and his paintings are now in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Courtauld Institute in London. His work has been exhibited through the United Kingdom through the years including a 1979 Retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts to as recent as 2019.Unframed; height: 17 1/4 in x width: 41 3/4 in. Framed; height: 27 in x width: 51 1/4 in.
The colors are bold and bright and the surface is stable. When inspected under UV light there does not appear to be any signs of restoration. Clean verso. Framed under a linen mat and glass; some light stains to the mat that does not appear to affect the artwork. Not inspected out of frame. Some wear to the frame.
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