Peter Haigh (1914-1994), “Coffee Pot & Apples”, Circa 1952

Peter Haigh (1914-1994), “Coffee Pot & Apples”, Circa 1952

Code: 10844


H: 35.6cm (14")W: 45.5cm (17.9")


Peter Haigh (1914-1994)
"Coffee Pot & Apples", Circa 1952
Signed 'haigh' (upper right) 
Oil on Canvas
35.6 cm x 45.5 cm

Private Collection, Oxfordshire, U.K.

Partial original label verso with the artist's name, the title and an expunged price in guineas. In the artist's original frame.

From 1952-53, following an exhibition of his work at Wildenstein, Haigh was sponsored to paint in France by a wealthy benefactor, setting up a studio at Sanary-Sur-Mer on the French Rivera. Around this time he also exhibited in various group exhibitions, including shows with a number of important dealers such as Leicester Galleries, Redfern Gallery, Roland Browse & Delbanco, Beaux Arts and the Zwemmer Gallery. He then declined to show his work for nearly 30 years.

This still life with a coffee pot and apples arranged on a table is typical of Peter Haigh's 1950s abstract-figurative style, which was much influenced by his time in France and the 'La Nouvelle École de Paris' (or Second School of Paris). It is very reminiscent of paintings by his near exact contemporary William Scott, C.B.E., R.A., who was similarly influenced by Parisienne painting and an appreciation for the still lifes of Braque and Picasso.

Haigh's works from the 1950's are of great merit and are now particularly scarce. The painting here, although rendered in a typically limited palette, is full of fascinating textures and pentimenti which show how the artist experimented with the composition. Whilst still representing recognisable objects within the still life, Haigh has broken down the forms to their simplest essence. As his career developed, the artist became less concerned with figuration and more interested in compositions which juxtapose solid forms in single tones. Various elements of the work here, especially the textured surface of the painting and the very subtle and sophisticated variations in the tones of the outlines, foreshadow his future artistic direction.

Peter Haigh was born in Yorkshire and aspired to become an artist from an early age (he sold his first painting when he was just 15 years old). His first job was as an apprentice textile dyer. At the outbreak of World War II he volunteered to join the army, serving mainly in the Far East. After he was demobbed he studied at Heatherleys School of Art under Iain Macnab and at Goldsmith's School of Art, where he was to meet his future wife, Patricia Taylor. During the years he did not exhibit he supported his family through running a framing and gilding business in London. He began exhibiting again in the 1980's.