Saturday, August 27, 2011

Evie Hone: Vitreous Painting on Glass

Evie Hone, Vitreous Painting on Glass, 8 x 10”

To have met Evie Hone and seen almost any of her works was sufficient to compel one’s attention and deepest consideration; to have spent time in her company and looking at her great windows in their settings was to leave one with that feeling of elation that true greatness and saintliness inspire.

~ Patrick Pollen

Evie Hone (1894- 1955)

Evie Hone was born in Dublin in 1894 into an upper middle class family, her father being a director of the Bank of Ireland. There was a tradition of artists in her family and she was an indirect descendant of Nathaniel Hone the elder. Evie was struck with polio at the age of eleven and remained disable for the rest of her life but she did not allow this to interfere with her wish to become an artist. Originally trained as a painter, Evie was thirty-eight before turning to stained glass. She began her artistic career at the Westminster School of Art in London where she was taught by Walter Sickert and Bernard Meninsky and she the moved to the Central School of Art to work with Glen Byam Shaw. In 1921, on the advice of Meninsky, she travelled to Paris to study with the Cubist painter Andrè Lhote, who taught a modified version of the Cubism which had been developed by Picasso and Braque between 1907 and 1914. In Paris, Hone became aware of further artistic developments and soon tried of Lhote's reaching. Hone and her follow student Mainie Jellettt particularly admired the work of Albert Gleizes, one of the early Cubists who, after the war, had begun to develop a form of abstract painting. They persuaded in initially reluctant Gleizes to teach them. His work was geometric in form, based on a method he called "Translation and Rotation", which involves using the shape of the canvas, usually a rectangle, and moving it up and down (translation) and pivoting it (rotation), overlapping these forms to create a composition. His technique was based on strict rules, but from the beginning Hone's work was marked by a greater freedom of technique then that of her teacher and her fellow student. On her return to Ireland in the early 1920s, Hone encountered considerable hostility to this new work but she continued to exhibit and frequently returned to France for a few months to work with Gleizes. Gleizes' method was rather constricting and by the early 1930s Hone and Jellett began to develop independently. Both moved on from non-representational work, Hone to stained glass and Jellett to a more figurative type of painting. Hone came to stained glass as a fully fledged artist and in the last twenty-two years of her working life she produced 50 windows and 150 domestic panels. She studied the technique of stained glass with Wilhelmina Geddes in London. After this training she worked at the studio of An Tùr Gloine, the stained glass co-operative which was set up by Sarah Purser. Her work in glass is not the by-product of a painter, it tends to be more expressive than her painting and is usually figurative in nature, yet the lessons in color and shape which she learned from Gleizes are still evident. As a very spiritual person, she was interested in revitalizing Irish religious art and working in glass was very important to her as it gave her a very particular reason to work with religious subject matter. She had a very successful career as a stained glass artist and was given major commissions both in Ireland and abroad. After the closure of An Tùr Gloine she worked from her home, Marley, in the Dublin mountains. She died in Dublin in 1955.

For more information on Evie Hone:

To view my forming archive of women artists, Uomini Famosi:

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