John Hoyland’s (1934-2011) first solo exhibition in 1967 has been seen by some as a pivotal moment in British abstract painting. Hoyland himself found in abstraction the perfect expression of feeling and meaning which, as he said himself, ‘possessed him’ throughout his career.
Travels and exhibitions in the south of France and Brazil in the 1950s and 60s opened Hoyland’s eyes to the vibrancy of colour around him (compared with the post-war drabness in England); the heat and brightness influenced his works in equal measure to reading poetry and driving fast cars! This was the case for the rest of his life. Painting (and printmaking) had to be a sensory process. Movement and even emotion shine through in Hoyland’s canvases and prints; they are a brilliant insight into an artist who never ceased to find inspiration all around him. He was elected as a Royal Academician in 1991.