Patrick Heron and British abstract art

Michael Prodger at the New Statesman:

Heron the critic was also one of the figures responsible for introducing the American abstract expressionists to a British audience. Although he was later to accuse Pollock, De Kooning et al (but not Rothko) of cultural imperialism and not being painterly enough, the scale of their pictures, their rhythm, saturated palette and insistence that each part of the canvas was as important as every other, had a profound effect on him. Heron believed that, “Painting is thinking with one’s hand; or with one’s arm; in fact with one’s whole body,” and the epic AbEx works represented his aphorism in action.

Heron himself had not started as an abstract painter but he shared what Gillian Ayres defined as the postwar generation’s obsession with “what can be done with painting”.

more here.