Pace London presents an exhibition of works by John Hoyland, Anthony Caro and Kenneth Noland, celebrating the friendship and connections between the three artists. The exhibition is on view in the ground floor gallery of 6 Burlington Gardens from 20 November to 16 January 2016. This exhibition is the first presentation by Pace London of these masters. It also marks Noland’s first exhibition in the UK since the artist’s death in 2010.
Anthony Caro, John Hoyland, Kenneth Noland explores the matrix of concerns—colour, form, material and working in series—that these figures shared with a selection of work by each artist from the 1960s and 1970s. It allows the viewer to consider the inner relations between important works by these modern masters.
Hoyland, Caro and Noland all emerged in the wake of the first generation of the New York School and sought to continue the legacies of their abstract forebears. Hoyland first met Noland in 1964 having already been deeply impressed by Caro’s historic show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1963, the year before his own appearance there with the influential ‘New Generation’ Exhibition. Caro’s work had shifted ground dramatically during his time in the United States, and his capacity for inventing new forms had made Hoyland recognise the value of meeting the artists, including Noland, who had had such an impact on his friend.
The friendship of Caro and Noland had first begun in 1959 when Caro found his ideas sharpened by his encounters with the American artist, who was a leading figure among the post-painterly abstraction painters that critic Clement Greenberg was at that time championing. Already well established as an important colour-field painter and figure in the Washington Colour School, Noland left an indelible impression on his British peer with his commitment to the exploration of colour’s psychic and phenomenological effects through serialized forms, including horizontal bands. As William C. Agee writes, Noland built on the legacy of Cézanne and Matisse and, by 1960, “had become a primary force in the development of abstract art…by exploring ways of colour painting virtually unimaginable, and often without precedent.”
The encounter had its influence on Caro’s practice, turning him away from the figurative style that had characterized his art at that time and toward the kinds of geometric forms he had seen in Noland’s work. As their relationship developed, Caro returned to the United States in 1964 to teach at Bennington College, where he became closer to Noland, who was living nearby.
While in Vermont in 1964, Caro and Noland spent time with Hoyland, who had travelled to the US on a Peter Stuyvesant Foundation bursary organised by the Whitechapel’s director Bryan Robertson. Although the three figures had met briefly in London a year earlier, this was the beginning of their mutual friendship. The exhibition features a selection of Caro’s Table sculptures, which are among his later serial works and which exemplify his shifting understanding of steel’s materiality in both its painted and raw forms.
Both Hoyland and Noland shared an interest in the possibilities offered by the new medium of acrylic paint: acrylic was crucial to Noland’s exploration of paint’s materiality and the possibilities of colour; and, for Hoyland, too, it was becoming an indispensable means to his exploration of colours and forms and their dispositions on the plane, and in enabling him to exploit distinctions between opacity and translucency. From the mid-1960s onwards, the three artists continued to have a lively awareness of each other’s work and maintained their friendship, meeting on both sides of the Atlantic. Caro’s friendship with Hoyland was further strengthened by their trip to Brazil in 1969 when they represented Great Britain together at the São Paulo Bienal.
Hoyland, Caro, Noland follows the recent announcement of Pace’s representation of the artist’s estate. It coincides with John Hoyland: Power Stations (Paintings 1964–1982), on view at Newport Street Gallery, London, until 3 April 2016.
Image: Installation view. Courtesy Pace London”. All artworks: © Estate of John Hoyland. All rights reserved, DACS 2015. © Barford Sculptures Limited. © Paige Rense Noland Marital Trust. DACS, London/VAGA, New York 2015.
Hoyland, Caro, Noland Pace London – until 16 January 2016.