Ivon Hitchens (1893 – 1979)
Ivon Hitchens was born in London and studied at the Royal Academy Schools. During his lifetime his work was exhibited internationally and shown at the 1956 Venice Biennale. In 1940 his home in London was bombed and Hitchens moved to Sussex where the surrounding landscape and woods provided an endless source of inspiration. Hitchens wrote that he sought ‘to recreate the truth of nature by making my own song about it in paint’. He saw this ‘song’ as have distinct instruments: line, what the artist called formes (‘two-dimensional marks on the canvas not representing anything’), plane, shape, natan (more than just tone, this is a Japanese word denoting a deliberate harmony of darks and lights), chiaroscuro, and colour. Taken in conjunction with these instruments are his main ‘laws’ of composition: rhythm, repetition (echo), opposition, transition, symmetry, balance, and infinity. These suggested the direction and use of brush strokes to create the fundamental architecture of the picture
A piece of cloth woven from flax, hemp or cotton fibres. The word has generally come to refer to any piece of firm, loosely woven fabric used to paint on. Its surface is typically prepared for painting by priming with a ground.
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.