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Acrylic painting by John Hoyland, 'When Time Began (Mysteries 11)', 'John Hoyland: The Last Paintings', in white font to top and bottom left of cover.

John Hoyland: The Last Paintings

Contributions by Natalie Adamson
Contributions by David Anfam
Contributions by Matthew Collings
Contributions by Mel Gooding
Preface by Sam Cornish


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  • Lavishly illustrated with over 60 colour plates.
  • First publication to focus on Hoyland's output in his last decade, all the images are previously unpublished
Full Description

In the decade before his death in 2011, John Hoyland began to reckon with mortality. Confronting his own demise, he painted elegies to departed artist friends and tributes to illustrious artistic forebears. Imagery of the void looms large, but it is a void faced with defiance and vitality, less a rumination on the end than a celebration of life. This publication explores the paintings Hoyland made in this decade, including his final series, the Mysteries.

Essays by Natalie Adamson, David Anfam, Matthew Collings and Mel Gooding offer a rich and multifaceted account of a complex body of work. Hoyland’s veneration of Vincent van Gogh, his connections to J.M.W. Turner, the use of black as a colour, his deployment of risk and attempts to subvert his own taste, and his development of the cosmic visual language of the Abstract Expressionists are all discussed. Richly illustrated, the book extends our understanding of Hoyland’s late work within the story of modern painting as a whole.

About the Author

Natalie Adamson is Reader in Art History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where she teaches broadly across nineteenth- and twentieth-century modern art and the history of photography. Her research is focused on abstraction, art and politics in France and transnational relationships. She has recently published on the abstract painters Sam Francis and Pierre Soulages.

David Anfam is the Managing Director of Art Exploration Consultancy Ltd as well as Senior Consulting Curator at the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, and Director of its Research Center. Anfam’s prime scholarly focus is modern and contemporary American art, although he has ranged widely across other areas. His diverse books include Abstract Expressionism (Thames & Hudson, 1990; 2nd edn 2015); Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas – A Catalogue Raisonné (Yale University Press, 1998; 6th printing 2019), which received the 2000 Mitchell Prize for the History of Art; and Anish Kapoor (Phaidon, 2009). Since 1990 Anfam has also contributed essays to more than 70 exhibition catalogues, including Edward Hopper (Tate Modern, 2004), David Smith: A Centennial (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2006), Robert Motherwell’s Elegies to the Spanish Republic (Dominique Lévy, New York, 2015) and Pier Paolo Calzolari (White Cube, London, 2018). A regular reviewer for The Burlington Magazine, Anfam has lectured at institutions around the world, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; and the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. In 2016, Anfam’s exhibition Abstract Expressionism, was the largest survey to date, opening at the Royal Academy of Arts, London and toured to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Matthew Collings is the author of many books on contemporary and traditional art. He has won many awards for his television art documentaries, including a BAFTA for the six-part series This Is Modern Art (Channel 4, 1999). He became the art critic for BBC2’s The Late Show (1989–95), bringing new figures in art like Jeff Koons, Martin Kippenberger and Damien Hirst to the attention of a UK TV audience for the first time, as well as writing and presenting many Late Show documentaries on the subject of modernist art. His most recent television documentary was The Rules of Abstraction, for BBC4 in 2014. Collings’s book Blimey! From Bohemia to Britpop: The London Art World from Francis Bacon to Damian Hirst (1997) was published by David Bowie and praised in Artforum as ‘the most popular contemporary art book ever’. Collings is an artist as well as a writer.

Late Mel Gooding was an art critic, writer, curator and lecturer on art and architecture. He published numerous monographs on modern artists, including Bruce McLean, Patrick Heron, Ceri Richards, John Hoyland, Mick Moon and herman de vries, and has written catalogue introductions and essays on many others, including Patrick Caulfield, Frank Auerbach, Joe Tilson, Terry Frost, Robert Motherwell, Kurt Schwitters and Pierre Soulages. He was author of Abstract Art (Movements in Modern Art series, Tate Publishing, 2001) and Song of the Earth: European Artists and the Landscape (Thames & Hudson, 2006).

Look Inside
24th Jan 2022
World excluding USA & Canada
305 mm x 244 mm
216 Pages
120 color, 2 b&w
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