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I found this YouTube compilation of Heron’s work and although I don’t get the Neil Diamond music connection it shows a lot of his work which is great stuff. He was mutli-talented and quite a scholar about the world of art. If you like his work it may be a fun ride to listen to him and read his commentaries which are all over the net.

Born at HeadingleyLeeds in Yorkshire in 1920, he was the son of Thomas Milner Heron and Eulalie ‘Jack’ Heron (née Davies), the first of four children (Michael, Joanna and Giles). His father was a clothes manufacturer, pacifistsocialist and leading member of the Leeds Arts Club. In 1925 the Heron family moved to West Cornwall where T M Heron took over the running of Crysede and four years later the family moved to Welwyn Garden City where Tom founded the firm Cresta Silks and was to become the original mind behind Utility Clothing during the war. It was here at his new school that Patrick Heron met his future wife Delia Reiss, daughter of Celia and Dick Reiss (R.L.Reiss, co-founder of Welwyn Garden City ).

Patrick Heron’s writing about art began when in 1945 he was invited by Philip Mairet, editor of The New English Weekly to contribute to the journal. His first published article was on Ben Nicholson, followed by essays on PicassoKlee, Cézanne and Braque. Two years later he became art critic of the New Statesman until 1950. He became London correspondent to Arts Digest, New York,(later renamed Arts(NY)). ‘The Changing Forms of Art’, a selection of his criticism was published in 1955. A further selection of writings , edited by Mel Gooding, was published in 1998 to coincide with his Tate Gallery retrospective exhibition.

In 1966, 1968 and 1970 he published a series of articles in Studio International questioning the perceived ascendancy of American artists. His final essay on the subject was in a closely worded article of some 14,000 words published over a period of three days in The Guardian in October 1974.

He defended the independence and autonomy of the English Art Schools, resisting their integration into the polytechnic system. The publication of his article ‘Murder of the art schools’ in The Guardian in 1971 precipitated an enormous correspondence over a period of six weeks.The article was reprinted in ‘Patrick Heron on Art and Education’ was published by Bretton Hall Wakefield to coincide with presentation of Honorary Fellowship of Bretton Hall, University of Leeds and a one man show of gouaches.

In 1994 his Exhibition “Big Paintings” was held at Camden Arts Centre. Heron’s largest and most ambitious paintings were 15–22 ft long.

“One major change that came about in Heron’s painting as a result of his time in Sydney, was a greater awareness of the white primed canvas as a colour space in its own right. ..the Sydney Garden Paintings gave Heron the licence to create works that were seemingly quickly wrought and sparsley painted- which even appear at first to be incomplete or negligent. Ones expectations of what should be are affronted. Nevertheless, this reaction belies a complexity that the artist worked through in his last paintings..and reached a highpoint..in 1998”

“His last paintings were full-on, risky, filled with bright squiggles, painterly flurries and cartoon doodles. They should have been chaotic and absurd, but they were instead open and vital, eye-rocking and beautiful. Heron’s retrospective was ravishing, and had the vitality of a much younger artist.

He continued painting until the day before he died. He died peacefully at his home in Zennor, Cornwall, in March 1999 at the age of 79. He was survived by both his daughters, Katharine Heron, now an architect and Susanna Heron , a sculptor.

On 24 May 2004, the Momart warehouse fire destroyed a number of Heron’s most important works.

Patrick Heron’s paintings are in public collections worldwide.

Source: Wikipedia     To find out more about this incredible artist…