Hatt and Home

Here are some more Doris Hatt paintings. In a previous blog I showed some of her landscapes influenced by Fernand Leger, whose work she had seen in London in 1950.

I had a look at some paintings of Leger. Early in his career he was a Cubist, and later he was so enchanted with machines that he included whole or parts of machines in many of his works. When he painted people, their limbs were tubular in shape and outlined in black lines with grey shading giving some form. Some of his paintings contain colour within the lines, while others have blocks of colour transposed over or around the subjects.

I was reflecting on the similarities between his paintings and those of Doris Hatt, as seen at the marvellous exhibition of her work at the Museum of Somerset, Taunton. Her paintings are well composed, as still life paintings, and she used black lines with no shading to depict her objects.

She does use areas of colour that seem to have some connection to the object they are in or near to. But the biggest difference, and most notable I think, is in the subject matter. These paintings are of the home and the everyday intimacy of homely objects inside one’s domain: the favourite coffee pot, no doubt with its own story of origin. The water and wine bottles, the sandwiches that day, cut into triangles not squares, all placed on the table overlooking that special view. A still life that is at the same time, a snapshot of life actually lived that day and the next, suspended in the painting. A place loved and cherished from which to live one’s extraordinary life.

Although the style might be in the line of Leger I am glad Doris used it in the service of her own vision, as it makes its own important contribution reflecting back to us what is important.

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