British painter of landscape, still-life, and occasional religious subjects, born in Beijing, where his father was manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. After two years studying at Cambridge University (which he described as ‘a waste of time’), he was apprenticed to a London firm of chartered accountants, but he quickly abandoned this career to study at the *Slade School under *Tonks, 1926–7, while also attending evening classes at the Westminster School of Art. He then went to Paris, where he studied at the Académie Colarossi under *Lhote, and until 1940 he lived mainly in the south of France, with visits to Spain, which he ‘came to love above all other countries’. Early in his career Hillier was influenced by a variety of modern idioms (he was a member of *Unit One), and his work included abstracts.
Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)