Patrick Heron was born in Leeds and studied at the Slade School of Art in London from 1937-39. During the 2nd World War he was an assistant at the Bernard Leach pottery in St Ives, where he met Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. From 1953-56 he taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Until 1955 he worked in a figurative style derived from Matisse, painting still life and interiors with bright colours and complex spatial relationships. His conversion to pure abstraction in 1956 coincided with his move to Eagle’s Nest, Zennor, near St Ives, where he lived and worked until his death. Heron was created CBE in 1977 and was a trustee of the Tate from 1980-87. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Tate in1998.
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