John Hoyland RA

(British, 1934 – 2011)


Signed and dated ‘John Hoyland 86’ (lower right)

Etching with acquatint

10.5/ 8 x 9.7/8 in. (27 x 25 cm.) (to image) 26.1/2 x 22.3/4 in. (67.5 x 57.5 cm.)

Edition: 36/40

John Hoyland grew up in Sheffield, studied there and progressed to the Royal Academy in the late 50’s where Sir Charles Wheeler famously ordered that Hoyland’s paintings (all abstracts) be removed from the walls of the Diploma Galleries. Peter Greenham intervened.

In the 1960s his career blossomed and spent much time in New York meeting a long term friend Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. The Marlborough Galleries showed Hoyland’s first solo exhibition in 1964 and he also had his first solo museum show at the Whitechapel art gallery in 1967. He exhibited at the Waddington Galleries in the 1970’s and 80’s. Although described as an abstract painter, he disliked the term, describing himself only as a painter.

Retrospectives of his paintings have been held at the Serpentine Gallery, the Royal Academy and Tate St. Ives. His works are held in many public collections incuding the Tate, and Damien Hirst ‘Murderme’. In September 2010 the Yale Centre for British Art included Hoyland with Howard Hodgkin, John Walker, Ian Stevenson, Patrick Caulfield and R. B. Kitaj in an exhibition titled ‘The Independent Eye’.

He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991 and appointed Professor of painting in the Royal Academy schools in 1999.

This particular work relates to John Hoylands fascination with the ‘circle’, a subject he was constantly drawn back to. The yellows, greens and reds provide a bold image which with the large white mount is not too overbearing.