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Born in Leeds, Heron attended the Slade School of Art part-time (1937–1939). A conscientious objector during the war, he worked as an agricultural labourer and then at the Leach Pottery, St Ives, where he met Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. He became art critic for New English Weekly and New Statesman and Nation and taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. He wrote the highly influential The Changing Forms of Artin (1955), the year in which his work became predominantly abstract.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 50.8 x W 40.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased with help from the Art Fund, 2000

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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