Solo Flight


One might be accused of gilding the lily to suggest that the new Newport Street Gallery across the Thames has resurrected the career of John Hoyland, one of the most important artists in Britain from 1964 to 1982, but it has certainly introduced him to new audiences, even prompting a response from the posher side of the Thames, as he is included in a small group show at Pace London, located at the Cork street entrance to the RHA.

But Newport Street Gallery, Damien Hirst’s new baby, is where it is at, with over 30 Hoyland masterworks scattered throughout six spacious galleries, with free admission. Highlights, if your visit is brief, are 23.2.71, 9.11.68 and 29.12.66. This is a show which bridges the early large scale abstracts with his later broad colour palette.

Retrospectives seem to be in vogue in London in late 2015: a ten minute stroll from the Newport Gallery will bring you to the uncompromising profiles and street views of Frank Auerbach, an exhibition which intentionally eschews a narrative or chronological development. Continue along the Thames to the Courtauld Gallery for a rare opportunity to see a bunch of Peter Lanyon’s extraordinary landscapes in two rooms, including a personal favourite, Solo Flight. This is an artist for whom engagement with the environment meant living at the edge in pursuit of the unobtainable, but that was the point, I guess. His was a world without solid forms. You will leave it floating