Shapes of Colour, 1978

This set of two silk-screen prints, entitled, ‘Shapes of Colour, 1978’, are numbers 13 and 14 from a series of 20 prints of the same title. The Tate Gallery, London, holds an edition of this series in its permanent collection.


Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron CBE (1920-1999) was a painter, designer, and author who made noteworthy contributions to the development of abstract art. Employing the term “non-figurative” to describe his exploration of vibrant colour, he believed that all art could be considered abstract. Heron worked to make all areas of a composition into areas of equal importance through his sophisticated use of colour, turning the English painting convention of narrative, figurative paintings on their head. “The flavour of words is intensely anti-visual,” he once observed, going on to say, “strictly speaking painting cannot be written about.” Indeed, it is true that his work needs to be experienced rather than read about. It is intended, like much abstract work, to create an unique emotional response from the viewer.

Born in Yorkshire in January, 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. Most recently, Heron had a large solo exhibition at the Tate St. Ives, Cornwall, in 2018. His work is in a number of 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.