Peter Hedegaard
Green and Yellow, 1974

Peter Hedegaard was born in Copenhagen, but left for England with his parents in 1935. He initially studied design at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, but, after a short period spent working as a designer, he subsequently took up painting instead. Hedegaard’s inspirations include both Josef Albers (1888-1976) and the Renaissance painter Pierro della Francesca (1415-1492). Artists such as Bridget Riley, Jeremy Moon and Michael Kidner number among his contemporaries. Hedegaard’s artwork Green and Yellow, for which he was awarded the John Moores Prize in 1974, reveals his interest in forms, in the interactions of color and proportion and in the relationship between lines – their spatial effect. Hedegaard develops association-free purist visual statements with finely judged color toning that to some extent conform to a mathematical system, based upon carefully considered formal decisions. The softly graduated color nuances, and sometimes stronger contrasts, look ‘felt’ rather than the result of an imposed order, a fact that gives his artworks sensitivity and conveys a sense of rest and of restraint that transcends their elemental simplicity. Hedegaard’s painting could also be described as hard-edge abstraction: the edges and depths of the canvases, which have an artificial resin or acrylic covering and are individually subdivided, create a sense of perspective that extends into the surrounding space. In 1976, shortly after Green and Yellow received the prize, Peter Hedegaard interrupted his painting and restarted his artisitic work after a creative break. His later works include pastels, inspired by long stays in his garden.

Peter Hedegaard

* 1929 Copenhagen, DK
† 2008 London, GB

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