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March 1963 by Roger Hilton (1911-1975)

blue paint on a white bckground, with sack shapes drawn on

Oil on canvas, painted in 1963.
Presented by Sir John Moores in 1964 (No 6197)

First prize (Purchase prize), John Moores 4, 1963

Hilton often titled his paintings after the month in which they were finished. March 1963 typifies the spontaneous, rapid abstraction which he developed in the 1950s, mixing drawing and painting. There are suggestions of the outlines of the human form, a rock and a boat. Artist and juror Peter Lanyon wrote to Hilton, "you got an absolute clear majority, a vote of four out of five…I told John Moores that it was the best painting to come out of Britain since the war". The prize money, £1,500, represented four of five times the selling price of Hilton's paintings. Famously, Hilton was photographed 'kicking' at his painting, saying, "They are terrible pictures. No wonder mine won".

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