Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron was a painter, designer and author who made notable contributions to the development of abstract art. Employing the term “non-figurative” to describe his exploration of vibrant color, he believed that all art could be considered abstract. Heron worked to convert all areas of a composition into areas of equal importance, turning the English pictorial convention of narrative and figurative paintings on its head. “The taste of words is intensely anti-visual,” he once observed. “Strictly speaking, you can’t write about painting.” Born in Yorkshire on January 30, 1920, he attended the Slade School of Art in London. A major retrospective exhibition of his work was held at Tate Britain in 1998, and Heron won the Grand Prize at the John Moores Prize Exhibition in Liverpool in 1959 and the silver medal at the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1965. His work is in several important collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the National Portrait Gallery in London and many others. He died at his home in Cornwall, England, on March 20, 1999, at the age of 79.