Thanks to the resounding success of the Art Everywhere campaign, in which John Hoylands 1981 painting 'Memory Mirror' featured in the top ten of Britains favourite artworks, the original work is now being shown publicly once again at The Fitzwilliam Museum
The painting has been on long-term loan to Cancer Research UK, but will be on display at The Fitzwilliam throughout August in the Glaisher Gallery.
'Memory Mirror' (1981) is one of 25 artworks by British artists voted for by the British public which are currently appearing on various poster sites, bus stops and billboards across the UK as part of the Art Everywhere project until the end of August. Eleven of the 25 works are not on public display in galleries.
Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, says, "Campaigns like Art Everywhere are a useful way of engaging public opinion, and can help museums highlight lesser-known treasures in their collections, and as in this case have allowed us to make a special display dedicated to this work."
Royal Academician John Hoyland was one of the great exponents of abstract painting. His work is remarkable for its bold use of colour and, in recent years, its three-dimensional quality, through the use of thickly-layered and textured acrylic paint. He was awarded the John Moores Painting Prize in 1982, and was appointed Professor of the Royal Academy Schools in 1999.
Renowned art critic and longtime friend of Hoylands Mel Gooding says: People like 'Memory Mirror' because it has strong, vibrant colour, and the human eye responds with delight to colour in itself. The painting radiates joy, suggesting the beginning of a rhythmic spiral dance of colour-forms rather like Matisse's great 'Snail' collage.
The powerful weather of the atmospheric field behind the bold monumental shapes subconsciously reminds us of the natural world. So though the painting moves beyond the conventions of traditional landscape painting, it nevertheless links a resolutely abstract painter like John to the painterly visions of his great English predecessors, Constable and Turner.
Damien Hirst, a friend and longtime champion and collector of John and his work, says, "In my eyes John Hoyland was by far the greatest British abstract painter and an artist who was never afraid to push the boundaries.