Aspects of Landscape is the first exhibition to give a comprehensive overview of John Hitchens’ work created over a period of almost six decades, which traces his journey from early descriptive paintings to increasingly abstract ways of interpreting landscape. The exhibition opens with his most recent paintings and sculpture, and works back through the decades, ending with his earliest paintings.
John Hitchens was born in Sussex in 1940. He has spent most of his life there and his studio is based near Petworth. The landscape of the South Downs has remained a major influence on his work, which has encompassed not only painting, but also found-object installations, sculpture and photography.
Image © Anne-Katrin Purkiss
During the past decades his paintings have evolved from early, descriptive depictions of landscape and the use of distinctive brushwork. A period of photographing the South Downs from the air, has led to increasingly abstract work, reducing forms in the landscape to lines, dots, circles and patterns.
Land Quest, 2017 © The Artist
As Hitchens’ approach to his subject changed, so too did his practice, with the transition from painting in the landscape to working as a studio artist. Indoors, the shifting arrangement of the studio and its collection of found, assembled and created objects has since become a source of inspiration in itself, as well as a living installation.
Photographs of John Hitchens’ Studio © Anne-Katrin Purkiss