Spotlight

Roger Hilton
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The Independent Online

Whatever the subject of Roger Hilton's often eccentric art, his work was always urgent, honest and often violent. He suffered in his life from the prudery of critics who found the sexual suggestiveness of so much of his work a touch too embarrassing to take seriously and so wrote him off as a messy abstract painter of indecipherable daubs.

Whatever the subject of Roger Hilton's often eccentric art, his work was always urgent, honest and often violent. He suffered in his life from the prudery of critics who found the sexual suggestiveness of so much of his work a touch too embarrassing to take seriously and so wrote him off as a messy abstract painter of indecipherable daubs.

Certainly there was a fragmentary quality to the way that his paintings were made, yet there is nothing unresolved about them. This is the paradox that gives his work its peculiar originality.

Hilton died in 1975 and, since the Hayward Gallery's retrospective of 1993, he has come to be recognised as one of the key figures of the post-war years. He brought a rare internationalism and a very personal kind of humanity to the St Ives scene and a unique blend of sensuality, wit and anger.

This new exhibition is especially strong in its selection of late drawings and gouaches. They are deceptively childlike, treading a tightrope between delightful innocence and an unnerving edginess.

'Roger Hilton', Jonathan Clark Fine Art, 18 Park Walk, London, SW10 (020-7351 3555) to 10 Nov

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