Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979)
Ivon Hitchens was an english painter. He studied at St John’s Wood School of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools intermittently between 1912 and 1919. He exhibited with the 7 & 5 SOCIETY in 1921 and continued to do so throughout the 1920s. He soon became part of the circle of artists known as the LONDON GROUP and exhibited with Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and others during the 1930s. Hints of his mature style can be found in the delicate green-grey shades of a still-life such as Spring Mood No. 2 (1933; artist’s estate), which was influenced by Braque, but he also experimented with pure abstraction, as in Coronation (1937; London, Tate). After his house was bombed in 1940 he moved to a patch of woodland near Petworth, W. Sussex, living at first in a caravan which later acquired numerous outbuildings. He worked there for the next 40 years, distanced from the predominantly literary currents of British modern art. In his commitment to colour and open brushwork he was closer to the modern French masters, especially in his Fauvist orange nudes set in sunlit interiors. He painted mostly outdoors, however, and his technique developed from a tonal treatment that recalled the informality of Constable’s sketches, as in Damp Autumn (1941; London, Tate), where the motif is clearly legible, to brushmarks that became wider, quickening in pace as they deflected vertical and horizontal movement, as in Arno No. 4 (1965; London, Tate).