Hitchens' paintings are best understood as being neither entirely abstract nor naturalistic, but as evocations of the English landscape. The son of the artist Alfred Hitchens, he was educated at Bedales, before training at St John's Wood School of Art, and the Royal Academy, 1912-1919.
He exhibited with the Seven & Five Society in 1921 and continued to do so throughout the 1920s. His first one-man show was at the Mayor Gallery, 1925, later showing at Tooth's, Lefevre and Leicester Galleries, London. He also became part of the London Group (with Nicholson, Hepworth, Moore and others) and exhibited with them throughout the 1930s. He was a member of the London Artist's Association.
After the bombing of his London home in 1940, Hitchens moved to West Sussex where he stayed for the next forty years. He distanced himself from the current trends in modern painting and found freedom to develop his own mature voice.
Hitchens' work is held in international public collections including the Tate Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
signed and dated 1970
The Artist's Estate
Foliage Blue & Yellow typifies the artist's approach in the 1970s when he talked about his paintings as primarily abstract with the subject being of secondary concern. The wide format canvas encourages the viewer to read across the composition, with emphasis on directional brushwork and separate divisions of colour and form.