Biography for Patrick Heron (1920 - 1999)
Patrick Heron was born in Headingley in Leeds in 1920. While working for Cresta Silks, Heron designed his first silkscreen. Then in 1937 he became a part-time student at the Slade School of Fine Art in London for two years. In 1945 Heron was art critic for the New English Weekly for two years before having his first one-man exhibition in 1947. His early work included many figurative studies such as 'The Gas Stove' (1946) but the painting 'The Boats and the Iron Ladder' (1947) showed the direction he was moving towards with its complex patterning and unusual use of colours. After working as art critic on The New Statesman and Nation Heron started a teaching job at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Heron was awarded the Grand prize at the second John Moores Liverpool Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. During the Sixties and Seventies Patrick Heron lectured around the world, culminating in a book, The Shape of Colour in 1978. In 1979 Heron was commissioned to design two carpets for the foyer of the Cavendish Hotel in London, followed two years later with a commission to design a tapestry for the University of Galway in Eire. Heron produced over 50 paintings while working as Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.
Patrick Heron's work is devoted to analyses of natural forms and colours. From his abstract works, particularly those made up of horizontal or vertical stripes to his softer-edged shapes. As well as painting and tapestry design, Patrick Heron has also designed a stained glass window for the Tate Gallery in St. Ives and designed a kneeler to encircle the Henry Moore altar at St. Stephen Wallbrook in London.