Wednesday, 1 July 2015

John Hoyland at Newport Street Gallery

A major exhibition of works by John Hoyland (1934–2011) – one of Britain’s leading
abstract painters – will inaugurate Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in October

‘Power Stations’ (8th October 2015 – 3rd April 2016) consists of paintings by John
Hoyland dating from 1964 to 1982, from Hirst’s collection.
Damien Hirst interviewed by Tim Marlow. Hirst discusses Newport Street Gallery and its inaugural exhibition of John Hoyland. from Newport Street Gallery on Vimeo.

Occupying all six of Newport Street’s individual galleries, entry to the exhibition will be free.‘Power Stations’ will be the first major exhibition to be devoted to the artist since
2006. The show spans a pivotal period in Hoyland’s career, which included his first
solo exhibition in a museum (Whitechapel Gallery, 1967) and, twelve years later, his
defining retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery (1979–80). Having been described
by the writer Mel Gooding as, “without question... one of the two or three best
abstract painters of his generation anywhere in the world”, and by Hirst as, “by far the
greatest British abstract painter”, ‘Power Stations’ both reaffirms Hoyland’s status as
a major innovative force within the field of international abstraction, and provides new
insights into his diverse and ever-evolving work.
Renowned for his bold use of colour and scale, Hoyland was strongly influenced by
the American Abstract Expressionists of the late 1950s and early 60s. He met many
of the most acclaimed of these artists, including Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman,
Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, some of whom he became close friends
with. Stating, “paintings are there to be experienced, they are events”, Hoyland’s
extraordinary and intuitive manipulation of colour, form and texture received early
critical acclaim. Although he disliked the term abstraction, he was a life-long
proponent of non-figurative imagery, in which he saw, “the potential for the most
advanced depth of feeling and meaning”. Art critic Andrew Lambirth described
Hoyland’s paintings as, “abstracts but they are not about absolutes. They are about
[…] very particular emotions, thoughts and feelings dependent upon the act of
During his lifetime, Hoyland won many awards including the prestigious John Moores
Painting Prize in 1982 and the Wollaston Award in 1998. As well as his exhibitions at
Whitechapel Gallery and the Serpentine, his work has been the subject of major
retrospectives at the Royal Academy of Arts (1999) and Tate St Ives (2006). In 2010,
it also formed the centrepiece of ‘The Independent Eye’ exhibition at the Yale Center
for British Art (2010–2011). A long-standing, active and outspoken Royal
Academician, Hoyland was appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy
Schools in 1999 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam
University in 2000. Throughout a long and successful career, he remained a
committed teacher and lecturer and, like Hirst, a supporter of young and emerging
artists. This will be the first major solo exhibition of Hoyland’s work to have been
shown in London in the last 16 years.
On the significance of the artist, Hirst has stated: “In my eyes, John Hoyland was an
artist who was never afraid to push the boundaries. His paintings always feel like a
massive celebration of life to me.”

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