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John Hoyland (1934 -2011)

While still a student, John Hoyland was deeply impressed by the Tate Gallery’s 1959 exhibition of abstract expressionism, ‘The New American Painting’. His presentation of abstract paintings for his Diploma at the Royal Academy Schools that year was dismissed and the Diploma awarded for his previous, figurative work.

Hoyland later emerged as Britain’s leading abstract painter of the 1960s, exhibiting with both the influential ‘Situation Group ‘in 1960 and 1961 and the brilliant young ‘New Generation’ artists in 1965. In 1967 he was the subject of a major solo show at the Whitechapel Gallery, London and two years later represented the UK, with Anthony Caro, at the 1969 São Palo Biennale.

Successful solo exhibitions followed in New York, and later in many cities of America, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the UK.

The artist's work moved through many stages, from the realism of his early years to an expressive abstraction, easily identifiable as his own style. In 1999, he was given a solo Retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.