30 June 2015
‘Power Stations’ (8th October 2015 – 3rd April 2016) consists of paintings by John Hoyland dating from 1964 to 1982, from Hirst’s collection. Occupying all six of Newport Street’s individual galleries, entry to the exhibition will be free.
‘Power Stations’ will be the first major exhibition to be devoted to the artist since 2006. The show spans a pivotal period in Hoyland’s career, which included his first solo exhibition in a museum (Whitechapel Gallery, 1967) and, twelve years later, his defining retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery (1979–80). Having been described by the writer Mel Gooding as, “without question... one of the two or three best abstract painters of his generation anywhere in the world”, and by Hirst as, “by far the greatest British abstract painter”, ‘Power Stations’ both reaffirms Hoyland’s status as a major innovative force within the field of international abstraction, and provides new insights into his diverse and ever-evolving work.
Renowned for his bold use of colour and scale, Hoyland was strongly influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists of the late 1950s and early 60s. He met many of the most acclaimed of these artists, including Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, some of whom he became close friends with. Stating, “paintings are there to be experienced, they are events”, Hoyland’s extraordinary and intuitive manipulation of colour, form and texture received early critical acclaim. Although he disliked the term abstraction, he was a life-long proponent of non-figurative imagery, in which he saw, “the potential for the most advanced depth of feeling and meaning”. Art critic Andrew Lambirth described Hoyland’s paintings as, “abstracts but they are not about absolutes. They are about […] very particular emotions, thoughts and feelings dependent upon the act of looking.”
During his lifetime, Hoyland won many awards including the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize in 1982 and the Wollaston Award in 1998. As well as his exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery and the Serpentine, his work has been the subject of major retrospectives at the Royal Academy of Arts (1999) and Tate St Ives (2006). In 2010, it also formed the centrepiece of ‘The Independent Eye’ exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art (2010–2011). A long-standing, active and outspoken Royal Academician, Hoyland was appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy Schools in 1999 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in 2000. Throughout a long and successful career, he remained a committed teacher and lecturer and, like Hirst, a supporter of young and emerging artists. This will be the first major solo exhibition of Hoyland’s work to have been shown in London in the last 16 years.
On the significance of the artist, Hirst has stated: “In my eyes, John Hoyland was an artist who was never afraid to push the boundaries. His paintings always feel like a massive celebration of life to me.”
Newport Street Gallery
Newport Street Gallery opens in Lambeth, south London, in October. The gallery will present single artist or group exhibitions featuring work from Damien Hirst’s extensive collection of art.
Spanning five buildings, Newport Street Gallery has been under construction for over three years and is the realisation of Hirst’s long-term ambition to share his collection – which includes over 3,000 works – with the public.
John Hoyland: Power Stations
8th October 2015 – 3rd April 2016
Newport Street Gallery
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Damien Hirst in conversation with Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes, Royal Academy of Arts, London, discussing Newport Street Gallery and its inaugural exhibition of work by British painter John Hoyland (1934–2011).
Camera/Edit: Jon Lowe
Film © Damien Hirst/Science Ltd., All rights reserved, DACS 2015