Posts Tagged ‘John Hoyland’
I have written from time to time about art in the workplace, keen as I have become, to see good paintings there, pleased on the odd occasion that I find some, and fascinated by the responses of workers.
Why I haven’t thought before about art on display in those particular workplaces called universities I don’t know, especially as there are often galleries associated with them, and also that the buildings are sometimes open to the public. In Nottingham the Lakeside Gallery is part of the University of Nottingham and The Bonington Gallery is in the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University. It is not so long since I visited the Whitworth, at Manchester University and the other day I was introduced to the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery in the Parkinson Building of Leeds University.
They have some lovely abstract paintings, including work by John Hoyland, Terry Frost (one that I think is particularly good), Victor Vaserely, Victor Pasmore and Trevor Bell.
I have many times been on the campus of Warwick University but never realised that there was art to be seen there, not only at the Mead Gallery, but also on the walls in the University buildings. Click here for an excellent introductory online exhibition.
Ocean Park No. 67, 1973, Richard Diebenkorn. The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection courtesy of The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn
Ocean Park No. 26, 1970, Richard Diebenkorn. Nerman Family Collection courtesy of The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn
Pacific Standard Time, the sprawling art exposition that includes encampments at 60 different venues in the Los Angeles area, has already shifted the narrative for signifiers like…
The mail arriving through my letter box this morning made a nice loud thud. The new issue of Turps Banana had arrived!
The only magazine I know written for painters by painters, and it’s top banana as far as I am concerned.
This issue, among other things, includes Peter Dickinson‘s interview with Sean Scully, (and there are some lovely photos of Scully’s early work), and an interesting article by Dan Coombs about the work of Tomma Abts, where he thinks of her work as abstract portraiture.
The reproductions are wonderful, I like that, a lot of the time, I am seeing good photographs of paintings I have not seen reproduced elsewhere. Nick Smith’s photograph of John Hoyland sitting in front of one of his last paintings is moving and charming.
So I’m off to do some reading and looking at pictures…
Contemporary British Artists: John Hoyland (via Yale Books Blog: Yale University Press London) Legend!
I saw this post about the legendary painter, John Hoyland the other day
as you’d imagine he makes a good case for painting.
He also says this: “If I had died in 1969 I’d be a legend by now”. I like that he positions the appropriate time as post 1968. It suggests that abstract painting continues to be relevant even after that important year, the death of painting and the rise of post-modernism not withstanding!
But the point I really want to make is this : “John, you ARE a legend!”
I wrote this post before John Hoyland died and scheduled it to appear today, whilst I was away from home for a few days. During my trip I learned that he had died on Sunday 31 July.
I saw this blog recently about Victor Pasmore. It is no surprise that he is little known in Canada (he’s probably little known outside UK, and even here he may be less well known than he once was).
Though never a big fan, I recently saw a painting of his at The Hepworth Wakefield and was hugely impressed
I think I have seen it before, possibly at a time that I was less open to semantic as opposed to syntactical or non-iconic abstraction (borrowing Harold Osborn‘s terms again). I don’t remember being impressed, but this time round it seemed more daring. Not as daring as Malevich’s White on White, 1918, nor even as Ben Nicholson’s White Reliefs (circa 1934), but daring nonetheless. And big! And quite beautiful, though I am not sure the reproduction does it justice.
…there was a kind of dilettantism to nearly all English art, including the St Ives people. They would go to Egypt, do a bit of drawing and do a bit of poetry then take a break and fall in love and be unhappy…
Thank you art dog for reminding me to dig out my own yellowed copy of Beyond the Crisis in Art by Peter Fuller.
You reminded me of the crisis that this book provoked in me, a welcome crisis, but one that took years to resolve.
I have been foolish enough to dig out my copy.
In the book there is an article on John Hoyland, I only realised in reading it again that Fuller is reviewing an exhibition that I saw, and liked, at the Serpentine in 1979.
Whilst Fuller is largely negative towards Hoyland, he appreciates what he thinks the artist repudiates: the allusion to content beyond the painting, “touching upon intimate areas of psychological (rather than purely perceptual) experience”.
When I mentioned to the museum attendant how good I thought it was she seemed pleased that I liked it (we all like to get a ‘like’ every now and again). She said that most people who comment say that it’s rubbish.
What? Most of this work is ‘old’, the exhibition is a reminder of a tradition. Surely, the fact of abstraction has lost its ability to shock, surprise and elicit “a child could have done that” by now. Especially this work, most of it is quite complex and I would have thought difficult to dismiss. Well, I have been wrong before!
In my continuing quest to see abstract art outside of London, I had a good day in Leeds. At the Constructivism exhibition I was particularly interested in the work by Jeffrey Steele. Later, I noticed that at the seminar I missed, about the influence of the British Constructivist and Systems groups, Jeffrey Steele had been speaking and I wished I had been there.
In the permanent collection of contemporary art (post 1880 I think was their definition) I saw a Robyn Denny that I haven’t seen for ages. When I saw it, I remembered hat I had seen it before, at Leeds many years ago. I also imagined that, back then I saw a big John Hoyland painting, but if I did it wasn’t there today. (Just checking the catalogue I downloaded from the gallery website, there is a Hoyland in their collection. I would have liked to see that)
There were some interesting paintings in the other collections, I particularly enjoyed looking at an Ivon Hitchens landscape.
Then, visiting the cafe was an art experience itself, not the food necessarily (which was good and reasonably priced), but the environment of the Tiled Hall
On the way out I did wonder whether you could see too much Henry Moore (!)
We did go into the Henry Moore Institute attached to the Gallery (nice building) and looked at interesting photographs and sculptural pieces by Jean-Marc Bustamante, but in a hurry, because it was very nearly 5pm and they were getting ready to close.
If your workplace had John Hoylands on the wall would it become a place of joy?
In an office where I sometimes work there are a few Hoyland limited edition prints from the 80s and 90s.
Early in the morning, before most people get to work, I sometimes go and view them.
Mostly they just get ignored,
They are in meeting rooms,
Unlooked at, they just ‘brighten up the place’.
I am enjoying this one a lot just now
It reminds me of one of Hoyland’s paintings from around the same time this piece was made (1986). The painting is entitled ‘Lust and Luxuries’ 1984 (it is reproduced in issue nine of Turps Banana, accompanying an interesting interview with Hoyland by Peter Dickinson) and is reminiscent of a plate of cakes. The workplace print (is it a lithograph?) looks more abstract than ‘Lust and Luxuries’ yet it does have plate of food associations for me. Does it for you?
I think it also has face associations. I don’t want to see the towards-violet shape near the bottom edge as a mouth yet I do.
A friend with synaesthesia once said to me that he knew paintings were good when he wanted to eat them!
When it’s not abstract colours and shapes it’s a plate of food or a face with a mouth possibly ready to eat a plate of food. I have the feeling that I am not supposed to be thinking in terms of associations in relation to Hoyland’s oeuvre, and at the same time I wonder of these food and eating associations are part of what makes the print attractive to me. Or maybe I have an oral fixation and I’m saying a lot more about me now than I am about the picture.