June Mini 8 : 1968 signed, inscribed and dated 'PATRICK HERON/JUNE MINI 8: 1968/7" X 9 1/4"' (on a label attached to the backboard) gouache 17.8 x 23.5 cm. (7 x 9 1/4 in.)
Provenance: with Waddington Galleries, London, where acquired by Margaret Taylor Thence by descent
The present work shows Heron at the height of his experimentation with colour and colour sensation. It follows earlier figurative and abstract periods, the latter characterised in particular by the 1950s stripe paintings which gave way to the solid colour shapes that are seen here.
From the early 1960s to the late 1970s, Heron explored the optical effects of colour interaction, arguing that a colour only fully expresses itself when placed into a dialogue with another colour; setting a red against a yellow will make the red more vivid and vice versa. He was also fascinated by the importance of line and edge as framing devices. Heron commented 'A jagged line seperating two reds will make them cooler or hotter, pinker or more orange, than a smoothly looping or rippling line. The line changes the colour of the colour on either side of it'(Vivien Knight, Patrick Heron, London, 1988, p.94).
Heron championed the spontaneous application of paint and the independance of the hand from the brain. His colour-block paintings demonstrate this enthusiasm for compositional impulse and he frequently drew lines in a matter of seconds and often created the entire area of a designated colour in a single session.