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Ivon Hitchens /Pallant Gallery

I like to say “I’ve a Hitchens” – the alliteration being sufficiently close to Ivon Hitchens that many think I possess one of his, rather than one of his son John. Whether by accident or design, John’s rectangular abstract landscapes of the Downs resemble his Dad’s work in everything but price.

Last week I went to the Pallant gallery to see their exhibition of “Space Through Colour”, a retrospective of Ivon Hitchens’ work over six decades.

He says he was much influenced by Cezanne and whilst I could see some similarity in his floral studies I saw much less in the out door rectangular landscapes of broad brush work in blue which is his trademark.

Indeed my fellow Ruster who accompanied me observed he could see no development at all.

Once Hitchens moved to Sussex after his studio was bombed in 1940 he seemed to concentrate almost obsessively on the same subjects near his Sussex home as his meticulously kept sketchbooks indicate.

The Pallant is a wonderful gallery/museum. It’s particularly strong in its permanent collection on notable English artists of the twentieth century.

Rod Hamilton, Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, Keith Vaughn, Frank Auerbach, Walter Sickert and Graham Sutherland are all in the permanent collection. The Dean of Chichester Cathedral had a fine eye and donated his collection. The Pallant has resuscitated interest in Leon Underwood, Harold Gilman, Johnny Minton and now Ivon Hitchens. Yet I share my friend’s feeling of being underwhelmed by this exhibition.

Here is a link to it – Ivon Hitchens at the Pallant gallery

About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts