Spotlight

Patrick Heron
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The Independent Online

It's about a year and a half since the sad news came through that Patrick Heron had died at home at Eagle's Nest, the house that meant so much to him on the hill at Zennor on the Cornish coast. In that short time we have moved into a new century, yet Heron already looks like one of the most significant and truly convincing figures of 20th century English art.

It's about a year and a half since the sad news came through that Patrick Heron had died at home at Eagle's Nest, the house that meant so much to him on the hill at Zennor on the Cornish coast. In that short time we have moved into a new century, yet Heron already looks like one of the most significant and truly convincing figures of 20th century English art.

This exhibition of his early work, 28 paintings made in the immediate post-war years 1945-1955, shows a man coming to terms with his own ideas of pictorial space and the use of line and rhythm in art. Heron was better known as a writer at this point of his life: but as these works show, he was also inventing the language of his own art, building bridges from the European tradition of Bonnard and Braque towards the kind of painting that was originating on the other side of the Atlantic. But resolutely in his own terms.

Key to these paintings is what Heron described as "the marriage of indoor and outdoor space": a balance which can, at first glance, seem convoluted, but which reveals itself slowly with a growing clarity.

Waddington Galleries, 11 Cork Street, London W1 (020-7851 2200) to 10 Nov

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