Continental Colourist Ivan Hitchens Shows in Chichester

Ivan Hitchens (detail) Pallant House
Ivan Hitchens (detail) Pallant House

A ‘first class’ exhibition can be experienced at the “Ivon Hitchens: Space Through Colour” which is on now. Pallant House which provides the ideal backdrop to display a fabulous and famous Sussex artist’s retrospective.

Around ten rooms of paintings depict chronologically the life and work of contemporary artist Ivan Hitchens. The exhibition takes place from the 29th June until 13th October 2019 and Pallant House is open every day except Mondays.The Pallant House Gallery is located centrally in the historic city at 8-9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ.

Ivan Hitchins (3 March 1893 – 29 August 1979) is an important 20th century artist who lived and worked in Sussex. Hitchen’s vibrant landscapes, portraits and floral still life paintings are admired all over the world.

Hitchins was educated at Beadales in Hampshire and his early career was based in London and his early works are subdued and moody oils and watercolours. He was influenced by Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. He knew fellow creatives in the Bloomsbury group in the 20’s and 30’s and when his studio burned down in London in World War II, he made the move to Sussex.

The developing artist bought around an acre of land at Petworth and began painting a series of garden inspired pieces and landscapes. As Hitchens works progressed his pieces become more abstract and brightly coloured and bold. He “..brought continental colour to the English landscape.” proclaims the Pallant House website. Ivan Hitchen had a wife named Mollie and a son called John who also became a painter. The Hitchens moved to Selsey in West Sussex in their later years in order to paint by the coast.

Celebrating talented Sussex artists is Pallant House’s forte and this fabulous collection lifts the spirits and did not disappoint. “Ivon Hitchens : Space Through Colour” is suitable for all ages to visit.

This visual catalogue of Hitchen’s life curated by Anne Goodchild is the best visual experience to date at Pallant House. The cool pallet of different background wall finishes have been carefully chosen especially for the show. These ‘not white’ cube spaces enhance Hitchen’s work perfectly and provide a continually surprising sequence of light and spacious rooms to explore these magnificent works, that echo the joy and brilliance of French masters like Matisse and Cezanne.

We are inspired to get out into the countryside and commence ‘en plein air’ painting and we are delighted to find that the South Downs national park has partnered with Pallant House to provide a special extra activity. There is a footpath that walks through the route that Hitchens would have taken to paint some of his best known landscapes in Lavington and Duncton, West Sussex. There is a map and more information available, free to download, on the Pallant House website.


  1. Pallant House Gallery