Seamen Prefer Shell, Tristram Hillier, 1934

Tristram Hillier was a painter of landscape, still life and occasional religious subjects executed with meticulous finish. Born in Peking on the 11th April 1905, he studied economics at Christ’s College Cambridge from 1922-24 and at the Slade School in 1926. He also later studied under Andre Lhote and at the Atelier Colarossi.
Hillier lived in the South of France until 1940 and travelled widely in the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Spain. In 1931 he had his first one man show at the Lefevre Gallery and in 1933 he joined Unit One, founded by Paul Nash 'to stand for the expression of a truly contemporary spirit, for that thing which is recognised as peculiarly of today in painting, sculpture and architecture'. Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth were also members and their only group exhibition was held in 1934. The exhibition was accompanied by a book, Unit One, subtitled The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture which championed modernism in Britain.
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