John Hoyland



In Tate Britain

John Hoyland 1934–2011
Acrylic paint on canvas
Support: 2438 x 2286 x 26 mm
Purchased 1979

Display caption

Shortly after painting 'Saracen', Hoyland stated: 'Paintings are not to be understood, they are to be recognised. They are an equivalent to nature, not an illustration of it'. Since executing his first abstract works in 1958, Hoyland's paintings have proclaimed their self-sufficiency as visual facts or events. In the 1960s Hoyland was mainly involved with formal issues of scale, colour, and the relation of shapes. In the 1970s he began to invest these elements with a greater emotive significance. Consequently, as 'Saracen' demonstrates, his handling of the forms in his paintings became looser and more gestural. He explained: 'The structure of form is meant to be a container for colour, a container of feeling'.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

T02402 SARACEN 1977

Inscribed on reverse ‘JOHN HOYLAND 1977’
Acrylic on canvas, 96 × 90 (243.8 × 228.6)
Purchased from Theo Waddington & Co. Ltd. (Grant-in-Aid) 1979
Exh: Waddington Galleries, Toronto, March–April 1978; John Hoyland, Serpentine Gallery, September–October 1979 (31, repr. in colour)
Lit: John McEwen, ‘John Hoyland in mid career’, in Arts Canada, April–May 1978, pp.36–37, repr. in colour; Tate Gallery 1978–80, p.52 and repr. in colour

[no further details]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981



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