Roger Hilton painted Two Dogs
in 1973, two years before his death at the age of 64. Ill-health forced him to become bedridden and unable to work with his dominant hand, but he continued to paint works on paper using materials like gouache, poster paints, charcoal and children’s brushes to paint artworks with child-like themes of animals, boats and figures. These images have been compared to Naïve art, about which Hilton said ‘One has to face the eternal problem about children’s art which is often charming and you can borrow from it. The difference is, I think, that children are essentially realists, whereas a mature painter is not’.
Date of work
Original: Gouache and charcoal on paper 38 x 56 cm © The estate of Roger Hilton
Roger Hilton (1911 – 1975) was a British abstract artist. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, where he won the Orpen prize in 1930. A pioneer of abstract art in Britain, Mondrian, Art Informel and Tachism were influences on his early work. He moved to Cornwall in 1965 and married fellow artist Rose Phipps. In Cornwall he became a prominent member of the St Ives School of artists, and his semi-figurative abstract works gained him international popularity. He won the John Moores First Prize in 1963, was awarded a CBE in 1968 for his contributions to art.