60 years after it appeared in the first major retrospective of his work at Wakefield Art Gallery, Patrick Herons Nude in Wicker Chair, 1951, is back on display, this time at The Hepworth Wakefield
And now the identity of Herons mystery nude is finally revealed. Susanna Heron, artist and daughter of one of Britains most influential and important figures in post-war British art identified her mother, Delia, as the subject in the painting which is currently on loan from eminent Yorkshire-based art collectors, Jeffrey and Ruth Sherwin.
Susanna Heron said: I knew straight away it was my mother. I could tell from her collar bone and her hip.
Jeffrey Sherwin, art collector said: Its been wonderful to meet Susanna and at last find out who this mystery woman is in our collection. Patrick Heron was a lovely man. Ruth and I visited Patrick at his home, Eagles Nest in Zennor, Cornwall, overlooking the sea. It was there that we found the painting Nude in a Wicker Chair, which, as I discovered later, had first been exhibited at Wakefield Art Gallery in 1952.
Great supporters of the gallery, retired GP Jeffrey Sherwin and his wife Ruth have the UKs largest collection of British surrealist art and have loaned numerous works from The Sherwin Collection to The Hepworth Wakefield, including pieces by Henry Moore, Kenneth Armitage and Reg Butler among others.
Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield added: Its wonderful to share a discovery like this & revisit a major work of art that has a Wakefield connection. Its through the generosity of private art collectors such as Ruth and Jeffrey Sherwin that public art galleries like The Hepworth Wakefield can offer changing world-class displays and exhibitions. The importance of these collections will be exemplified in our new exhibition opening in October, To Hope, To Tremble, To Live, with major works curated from the David Roberts Collection, one of the UKs most significant private collections of modern and contemporary art.
Leeds-born painter, art critic and contemporary of Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron held his first major retrospective exhibition at Wakefield City Art Gallery (Paintings and Drawings, 5 April 3 May 1952) and was most recently celebrated in a retrospective at Tate Britain in 1998, with works selected by David Sylvester. Herons work features in public collections worldwide and one of the portraits from the first retrospective in 1952 at Wakefield Art Gallery will be appearing in a new exhibition opening in January 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery, featuring 12 portraits and sketches of TS Eliot by Heron that will be on display together for the first time.
For most of his creative life Heron lived and worked in Cornwall. Herons family moved from Headingley, Leeds, to Cornwall when he was five. His daughter Susanna Heron is an artist currently living and working in London. She recently produced a stone frieze Henslow's Walk for the Sainsbury Laboratory, which has been shortlisted alongside The Hepworth Wakefield for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2012.