Hoyland was interested in exploring the effects of different arrangements of colours and shapes on visual perception. He saw that a change in colour could alter the effect of a shape on the canvas, or even transform the overall mood of a work.
Here Hoyland has used verticals to partition the space of the painting. He has allowed the paint to drip down and soak into the canvas, emphasising the flat surface of the work. But at the same time, the strong vertical shapes appear to float in front of the deeper space of the red background.