Press |  1990s | 

‘Landscapes of the mind’ by William Feaver

A recent spell in Bali has affected John Hoyland, prompting violent clashes and disturbances, a use of acrylics that mocks the controlled slippages and seepages of younger generation abstract painters.

His paintings, at Theo Waddington, look astonishingly off-hand. Thick ejaculations hit tropic-nocturnal stained grounds. These in turn host squiggles of paint discharged straight from the tube. Vertical features, like banners or rudders, stand to one side. Impulsive gestures are reduced to calculated incidents, as deliberate as the applied blob of sealing wax on a legal document.

Hoyland dares to be untasteful. That’s not the same as being tasteless. He has the nerve to flaunt the plastic qualities of acrylic, to enjoy happy splash and solid colour. In ‘Lush Life’, for example, he grabs a slice of Matisse, throws in Bali vegetation, applies calligraphy and lets these bursts of pink, yellow, scarlet and green fight it out handsomely.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd 2013