20th Century British & Contemporary Art
Castlegate House Gallery
Biography

Ivon Hitchens embarked on his professional artistic career in the 1920’s after studying and graduating from St John Wood School of Arts and the Royal Academy schools in London.  Involved with the avant-garde movement in the city, he became a founding member of the Seven & Five Society alongside other renowned artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. 

During the Blitz, his neighbour’s house was destroyed and part of his own studio damaged, cementing his decision alongside many of his peers, to seek safety away from the air strikes and moved to the English countryside.  Hitchens moved into a gypsy caravan located on a six acre plot of woodland in 1940 and remained there for the next 40 years.  This move was responsible for what is now known to be Hitchens most pioneering abstract work.  He became deeply absorbed in the English countryside and started to create large paintings on landscape canvases panoramically portraying the woodland surrounding him.  Using a series of large brushstrokes, dabs and sweeps, he created the effect of energetic movement though his process was always carefully considered.  His work appeals to the senses, conveying textures, smells and atmosphere almost harmoniously, by using form and colour.

Ivon Hitchens’ work is held in in some of the most prestigious public collections, including the Tate, National Gallery of Scotland and the Courtauld Institution in London; he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1956 and was awarded a CBE in 1958.  He passed away in West Sussex in 1979.