John Hoyland

An artist which I have been interested in looking at is “John Hoyland (1934-2011) was one of the leading British painters of his generation” (

Hoyland makes non-representational paintings and prints in glowing colours. He was trying to convey emotion and thoughts directly, without painting physical objects on the canvas.

Hoyland started off painting landscapes surrounding his Sheffield home. He became committed to abstraction after seeing an exhibition of the works of Abstract Expressionist painters Rothko and Pollock in 1959. He also met Victor Pasmore at the same time and became interested in how to represent depth in abstract paintings.

The work 28.2.69 (1969) contains several layers of colourful shapes in a formal structure. It was very different from what other abstract artists were producing at that time. North Sound (1979) is more loosely painted, part of an attempt to make the canvas a container of emotion. Love and Grief (2006) uses smeared and scraped paint to convey depth.


john hoyland 28.2.69 1969


North Sound, 1979


Love and Grief, 2006



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