The British abstract painter John Hoyland has died age 76. He was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and educated at Leighton Park School, before going onto study at Sheffield School of Art and later the Royal Academy Schools. In 1959, influenced by the American abstract painters Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman Hoyland made a pilgrimage to New York which was to change the course of his painting style forever.
John Hoyland British Abstract Painter (1934 – 2011)
His first solo exhibition was held at the Marlborough New London Gallery in 1964 and he had a solo show at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1967.His work In the 1960s was characterised by simple shapes, bright colours and a flat picture surface. In the 1970s his paintings became more textured. He exhibited at the Waddington Galleries, London throughout the 1970s and 1980s. During the 1960s and 1970s he showed his paintings in New York City with the Robert Elkon Gallery and the Andre Emmerich Gallery. His paintings are closely aligned with Post-Painterly Abstraction, Color Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction.
Hoyland was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991 and was appointed Professor of the Royal Academy Schools in 1999.The National Portrait Gallery holds portraits of the artist in its collection. Retrospectives of his paintings have been held at the Serpentine Gallery (1979), the Royal Academy (1999) and Tate St Ives (2006). He won the 1982 John Moores Painting Prize.
He was a highly influential teacher with a long career beginning at Hornsey College of Art from 1960 to 1962, Chelsea School of Art from 1962 to 1969 where he was also Principal Lecturer from 1965 to 1969. Also teaching at Central St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools from 1974 to 1977 and the Slade School of Fine Art from 1974 to 1989.
His works are held in many public and private collections including the Tate. In September 2010, Hoyland and five other British artists including Howard Hodgkin, John Walker, Ian Stephenson, Patrick Caulfield and R.B. Kitaj were included in an exhibition entitled The Independent Eye: Contemporary British Art From the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie, at the Yale Center for British Art. He was artist in residence at the Studio School, New York in 1978 and at Melbourne University in 1979. He also participated in group exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool and the Barbican Gallery, London in 1993, and at Galerie Josine Bokhoven, Amsterdam and the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1994.
Photo: © Artlyst P C Robinson