Landscape Painting in Postwar Britain


51ggp57lkdL._SY300_ February 1954 is one of Roger Hilton’s non-figurative works held in the Tate Collection, London. The artist made a number of such paintings claiming to have been influenced by the work of Piet Mondrian whose abstractions in primary colours within black and white grids he  had seen in Amsterdam. The difference was though that Hilton’s work did not simply explore colour and geometry of form; one can still discern references to the human body. The works of British artists of the immediate postwar years seemed closely linked to the real world, and particularly to nature.

The 1950s were a decade of transition, in which a dominant critical mode, especially true in relation to landscape – welcomed abstract painting that permitted figurative interpretation without enforcing a single reading. Notably, the painters associated with St Ives i.e. Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon, Roger Hilton and Terry Frost were forging their own, unique language…

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