20th Century Artists


Roger Hilton

Roger Hilton was born in Middlesex and studied at the Slade School, London, and later at Paris Academy Schools. He began as a figurative artist and later moved into abstraction and then once again his later years saw him return to figurative work. He experimented with a range of medium, oil paint, charcoal, or gouache all of which were contained within the discipline of fine art painting, using large brushstrokes which engaged with patches of bold colour. His friendship with Dutch artist Constant influenced a change in his work, and simplicity began to evolve where he constructed bold designs made up of irregular shapes in strong colours.   His work had a fresh and bold feeling about it, with a strange sense of humour being portrayed.

In the 1950s and 1960s Hilton spent more time in Cornwall and was directly influenced by the landscape surrounding him. He moved towards the direction of Abstract Expressionism, and this natural rhythm came through his paintings. This period of his life was greatly affected by the school of British Abstraction which had emerged from St Ives, Cornwall. 

In 1963 he exhibited at Moores Liverpool exhibition, and received first prize. He also exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery, the Hayward Gallery and the Tate Gallery St Ives, which are just some among many.

Hilton’s life became shadowed by alcoholism and illness, he was bedridden for many years. 

His later works appear childlike moving back to figurative work, using bold mediums such as poster paint. Boats, horses, nudes began to appear. They have a naivety and simplicity about them but they are actually metaphors of a man’s experience throughout life. Although they appear unhindered each part symbolises the worries, and knowledge of an ill man.

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