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Anthony HILL

Relief J2, 1966

Plastic, perspex, aluminium and steel
56.5 x 56 x 4.5 cm

 
ANTHONY HILL, British, 1930-2020

Anthony Hill was a painter and relief-maker, originally a member of the Post-War British art Constructionist Group movement. Fellow members in the group included Victor Pasmore, Adrian Heath, Gillian Wise, John Ernest, Mary Martin, Kenneth Martin and Stephen Gilbert.  

Anthony Hill studied at the St Martin's and the Central Schools of Art. He began painting in the style of Dada and Surrealism in 1948 but quickly moved on to geometric abstract idioms.

His first relief was made in 1954 and in 1956 he abandoned painting for relief-making. One feature of these reliefs has been the use of non-traditional materials such as industrial aluminium and Perspex.

Anthony Hill’s first one-man show of reliefs was held in 1958 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

In 1978 he exhibited in the Arts Council's exhibition, Constructive Context, alongside a number if artists such as Jeffrey Steele and Peter Lowe who had begun working in a systematised constructive mode in the mid to late 1960s and came together in the Systems Group in December 1969. Hill, however, along with the Martins, declined membership of this group.

In 1983 the Hayward Gallery, London held a major retrospective exhibition of Anthony Hill's constructivist work.

Anthony Hill had a lifelong fascination with mathematics, and there are many mathematicians among his circle of acquaintances. Together with his colleague John Ernest he made contributions to graph theory (crossing number) and in 1979, in recognition of a number of his mathematical papers, he was elected a member of the London Mathematical Society. He was made a visiting research associate in the Department of Mathematics at University College, London.

Although almost all his reliefs have an underlying mathematical structure or logic, he was always insistent that in his art, in his own words, "the mathematical thematic or mathematical process can only be a component: one is calculating or organising something which is clearly not mathematical."

From the late 1980s onward, working in parallel with his systems-based work but in a very different mode, Anthony Hill exhibited Dadaist pictures and collages under the pseudonym Achill Redo. Tate, London has collections under both of the names: Anthony Hill and Achill Redo.

Anthony Hill participated in numerous exhibitions of abstract and constructivist art in the UK, and in Europe: France, Holland, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and also the USA.