John Hoyland, Unmistakable Identity
Alan Wheatley Art, 2009
Fully illustrated 64 pages publication with an introduction by John Hoyland and an essay by John McEwen.
Extract from the introduction by John Hoyland:
[...] For me the so-called “swinging sixties” was a parallel universe. I was not interested in the style icons of the day, Carnaby Street, the Kings Road and Pop Art, in much the same way I am not interested in the superficiality of the so-called “Brit Art”. To me this all represented “Little Britain”. I didn’t want what blacks call “blue eyed soul” with people from the London School of Economics poncing around the stage. I wanted the real blues and jazz, we wanted to fire the “Big Guns”. Once one had glimpsed the sublime, it became impossible to engage with the instant gratification of so-called “Op Art”, or the playful games of “Pop Art”. For me art has always seemed to be a more serious matter, a bigger game. I taught most days, then painted until midnight, sometimes up to 20ft wide, I needed to, and thought that the world needed them also, how wrong I was.' ...
Extract from the essay by John McEwen:
... 'This broad selection of John Hoyland’s paintings post-dates juvenilia and concentrates on the early and middle years. It therefore more or less encompasses his witty summation of artistic progress:
‘As I’ve said before many times, when you’re young you paint what you see. You paint the garden, you paint your Dad, you paint the dog, you paint your girlfriend. Then when you get a bit older you want to show everybody what a tough guy you are and that you can beat anybody’s brains out. Then later on you want to show everybody how intelligent you are, that you understand all the polemics. You understand the whole game, of what’s going on in rival camps and internationally and so on; and you want to play the big game. And then when you get old you don’t care what the fuck you do! You’re more free to just dive in and take risks and you can always dip back into your earlier work, different periods of work, and come out. What Picasso called the “unlearning process”.’
‘More or less encompasses’ because, of course, there is only one John Hoyland; and he brings every aspect of that unique pictorial intelligence, renowned wit and out-spoken-ness to every painting he makes.' ...