Azela Garden – Patrick Herron

Azalea Garden: May 1956 1956 by Patrick Heron 1920-1999

Azelea Garden by Patrick Herron is seen by some as a Tachist (non-geometical abstract, European equivalent of abstract expressionism) painting, though as it is a non-figurative representation, perhaps this is not the best categorization. He uses bold colour and free brushstrokes to invoke the idea, though not the image, of his garden. Herron takes influence from the colours, shapes and textures found there and represents foliage with overlapping brushstrokes. This painting is “pure visual sensation”, using the idea of emotional abstraction, or hyper-sensitivity to the characteristics of a location, to create the feelings and mood associated with a place without representing it figuratively. This can be seen as an immersive and liberating experience, as the viewer is drawn into the emotion of the piece, but is free from representation. The juxtaposition of heavily saturated reds, blues, greens and yellows compliments boldly and brings with it the idea of a bright summer’s day, communicating warmth to the viewer. Paint was applied to the canvas directly from the tube, simultaneously creating colour and line, so that the negative space in the painting serves as a sort of bridge between areas of colour.


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