Ivon Hitchens in focus at Chichester's Pallant House Gallery

Work by Ivon Hitchens
Work by Ivon Hitchens

This summer Pallant House Gallery presents a season of exhibitions that celebrate the landscapes of Sussex’s South Downs, headlined by the largest exhibition on British painter Ivon Hitchens in 30 years.

Spokeswoman Sarah Jackson said: “An eight-room exhibition entitled Ivon Hitchens: Space through Colour will consider the whole scope of Ivon Hitchens’ career, spanning a remarkable six decades from the 1920s to the 1970s.

“From his earliest figurative scenes to the final vibrant abstract paintings for which he is best known, the exhibition will provide a fresh perspective on one of Britain’s most admired modern artists. It will feature around 70 works from private and public collections from across the UK, including Tate, The Hepworth Wakefield and Leeds Art Gallery.

“Hitchens’ retreat from London to Sussex at the outset of the Second World War gave rise to an extraordinary body of paintings which were international in spirit despite being rooted in the English landscape. During this time he painted repeatedly at his home near Petworth, and in surrounding locations in the South Downs – Heyshott, Dunction, Didling, Woolbeding and Iping Common, in particular – and also at Selsey, where he bought a holiday cottage in the 1960s. By far the greatest part of his work was produced in the six acres of woodland that surrounded his Sussex home, Greenleaves.

“Although Hitchens painted the landscape of the South Downs in Sussex throughout his career, his work transcended location, bringing him a national and international reputation.”

Sarah added: “Alongside the Ivon Hitchens exhibition will be Simon Roberts: Inscapes, a photographic meditation on what it means to capture the essence of a place, by Brighton-based artist-photographer Simon Roberts. As he journeys on foot through the secluded hinterland of Sussex, he will explore how we experience familiar landscapes through a series of photographic, video- and sound-based landscape studies.”

Until October 13.

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