Patrick Heron


Patrick Heron was one of the most important British painters of the twentieth century. Born in Headingley, Leeds, in 1920, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1937 to 1939. After the war, Heron wrote as an art critic for The New English Weekly, The New Statesman, and Nation. In 1956, he returned to Cornwall where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. As an artist and critic, Heron played a central role in animating British interest in modern art after World War II.


Heron was awarded a CBE in 1977, later rejecting a knighthood in the 1980s. From 1980 to 1987, he was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, London. He received honorary doctorates from Exeter and Kent universities, Winchester School of Art, and the Royal College of Art. Solo exhibitions included the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1968); Whitechapel Gallery, London (1972); and Barbican, London (1985). A major retrospective of Heron's work was organised by the Tate Gallery, London, in 1998. A further retrospective was held at Tate St Ives in 2018, also touring to the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate, Kent.