Tate St Ives
20 May – 24 September 2006

John Hoyland (born 1934) is one of Britain’s leading abstract painters. Tracing his work from 1966 to the present day, highlighting the evolution of his paintings over four decades, The Trajectory of a Fallen Angel affirms his position as a major, innovative force in post-war British painting.

After Hoyland’s landmark visit to New York in 1964, where he met with the influential art critic Clement Greenberg and leading Abstract Expressionists, he forged a distinctive personal style, producing remarkable large-scale abstract paintings which advanced a startling use of extreme formal reduction and high-key colour. Paintings such as 28.2.66 drew attention for their defiance of the modernist insistence on the flat reality of the picture surface, emphasising instead the traditional quality of virtual, illusory space.

During the 1970s, Hoyland extended the structural implications of his early work, producing thickly painted and richly textural work, seen in Verge 12.10.76 from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Insistently abstract, these works advance an extraordinary material physicality. Since the 1980s, Hoyland’s paintings have developed far beyond their early formal emphasis, embracing imaginative invented allusions and the suggestion of other worlds. This exhibition surveys all these developments.

The exhibition has been curated by Paul Moorhouse, Curator, 20th Century, at The National Portrait Gallery, London. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, priced £12.95. A colour etching, after a 1966 watercolour, will be published by Paupers’ Press for the St Ives Print Series available from Tate St Ives.

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