John Hoyland RA

1934–2011

John Hoyland was born in Sheffield on 12 October 1934. He studied at Sheffield College of Art, before enrolling at the Royal Academy Schools in London (1956–60).

The 1960s were a crucial decade for Hoyland. During his first trip to New York in 1964, he met Robert Motherwell, with whom he was to become great friends, and also visited the studios of Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Hoyland's first solo exhibition was held at the Marlborough New London Gallery in the same year and the works were characterised by simple shapes, high-key colour and a flat picture surface. In the 1970s his paintings became more textured.
Andrew Lambirth writes: ‘His paintings are abstracts but they are not about absolutes. They are about contingencies and specifics: very particular emotions, thoughts and feelings dependent upon the act of looking.’

Retrospectives of Hoyland's paintings have been held at the Serpentine Gallery, the Royal Academy and Tate St Ives.
Hoyland died on 31 July 2011, aged 76.

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John Hoyland RA

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