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Brit Art of the Sixties Exhibit to be Shown at Mark Barrow Fine Art
Barry Martin (b.1943). Constructed Painting with Interior Circles (1963). Oil on canvas. 111cm x 111cm

LONDON.-Mark Barrow Fine Art will hold an exhibit titled Brit Art of the Sixties on May 15. The exhibit aims to bring together apects of Pop Art, Op Art and hard-edge geometric abstraction by the leading practitioners of the decade in a major new survey exhibition.

The exhibit will feature works of art made by Derek Boshier, Richard Smith, Nicholas Munro, Joe Tilson, John Hoyland, Clive Barker, Peter Phillips, Jeremy Moon, Harold Cohen, Antony Donaldson, Garth Evans, Bernard Cohen, Michael Tyzack, Bridget Riley, David Leverett, Marx Vaux, Michael Kidner, Peter Sedgley, Justin Knowles, Derek Hirst, and Barry Martin.

Born in Luton, Bedfordshire, Clive Barker studied at Luton College of Technology & Art from 1957-9, but left the course and went to work for Vauxhall Motors in Luton for 18 months - this experience was to have significant ramifications for his art. His first sculptures in 1961 were made out of cardboard and found objects. In 1961 he also married Rosemary Bruen and moved to London where for a time he acted as a technical assistant to Richard Smith. From 1963 -1965 he made a series of Zip Boxes in leather clad metal which aligned him with Pop Art. In 1964 he made his first bronze sculpture and in 1965 he became a tutor at Maidstone School of Art. He attained his sculptural maturity in 1966 and visited New York for the first time. His designs were made up by specialist fabricators that he commissioned to recast or resurface original objects. These works redefined Marcel Duchamp's notion of the ready-made as they were purely made as sculpture and not for common use. Barker gave an almost heroic existence to everyday things with a humorous, kitsch, and sometimes banal edge which made his work uniquely original in the 1960s. So much so that his influence can clearly be seen in the later work of Jeff Koons from the 1980s.

In 1966 his first son Tad was born and he made the first of the iconic Coke bottle sculptures. From 1968-1971 he was represented by the Hanover Gallery. In 1971 he became a tutor at Croydon School of Art, travelled America, covering twenty-two states, and produced a series of drawings. He also made Cremated Paintings, a project involving David Hockney, Richard Hamilton and Joe Tilson. At this time he was preoccupied with themes from Classical sculpture. From 1972-1974 he was represented by Anthony D'Offay. He began the Heads of Francis Bacon series in 1978 and moved to Malvern, Worcestershire but kept his London studio until 1985. From 1979-1991 he created large amounts of work in some years and little in other years. The Robert Fraser Gallery represented him from 1983-1986 and in 1985 he separated from his wife and moved back to London.

In 1993 he was commissioned to make a monument for Luton. In the late 1990s he combined his themes of Marilyn Monroe and the coke bottle in the MM series. Like all the so-called 'Pop artists' of the period he had a strong interest in popular imagery and his work forms an important part in the evolution of Pop Art sculpture on both sides of the Atlantic. His work has been included in numerous surveys and international exhibitions of Pop Art.

English painter and printmaker, John Hoyland, trained at Sheffield College of Art (1951–6) and the Royal Academy Schools (1956–60). Under the influence of Nicholas de StaŽl he began by 1954 to paint Sheffield landscapes and abstractions from still-life subjects. His devotion to colour began with experiments at a Scarborough summer school (1957), where tuition was provided by Victor Pasmore, Tom Hudson (b 1922) and Harry Thubron (1915–85). At the Situation exhibitions of 1960–61 he showed some of his earliest fully abstract paintings such as Situation (1960; Alistair McAlpine priv. col.), in which he used bands of colour to explore perceptual effects such as the relationship of image to background or to create the illusion of buckling the picture-plane. This geometric character soon gave way to sinuous lines enclosing discs of colour, and eventually to a freer and more fluid application of paint.

Hoyland's visit to New York in 1964 on a Peter Stuyvesant bursary brought him into contact with painters such as Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski and with the critic Clement Greenberg, who showed him the work of Hans Hofmann and unexhibited canvases by Morris Louis. Elements from these American developments, especially from colour field painting and Post-painterly Abstraction, feature prominently in subsequent canvases by Hoyland such as 1.11.68 (1968; London, Tate) in the use of staining techniques and acrylic paint, the interaction of unmixed colours, and an emphasis on the material weight of paint. Despite these influences, however, Hoyland came to reject the American tendency to reductivism, concentrating in later paintings such as 22.5.75 (1975; London, Brit. Council) and North Sound (1979; London, Tate) on the approach exemplified by Hofmann and de StaŽl, with varied and tactile paint surfaces and a disposition of blocks of different colours to create sensations of advancing and receding space. From the late 1960s Hoyland applied these methods also to screenprints, lithographs and later to etchings and monotypes.

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