Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) – ‘Under The Greenwood’, Jonathan Clark Fine Art, 18 Park Walk, Chelsea, London, SW10, until 27th May 2016
The gallery represents the artist’s estate and so we are fortunate to be able to see this show of twenty-eight paintings dating from the late 20s through to the early 70s. When his studio was bombed in1940 he moved to Petworth in West Sussex and lived in a gypsy caravan set in six acres of woodland.
His love of nature – he painted outdoors – is celebrated in his works with their open brushwork and use of colour to create a “sense” of place. The woodland with the shallow pools he dug to reflect the sky and trees in their ever changing patterns was to be his place of work for forty years.
Hitchens said of his painting “A good painter is he who, like a magician, having taken thought, offers the magic word, and conjures up life from within the canvas”. In my opinion the magic lives on and is as fresh as the day it was conjured up.