Around the time that he painted this artwork, Roger Hilton began to be associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Hilton did not entirely agree with this association, but did state that he believed that ‘the act makes the meaning’ in painting. This sentiment can be felt in works such as this one, where the confident, vivid brushstrokes show a delight in the mark-making process. When questioned as to whether the black shape represented a female form, the artist said ‘No—it is a boat, but a boat symbolises women as everybody knows.’
Original: Oil paint on canvas 61 x 50.8 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.