Artist comments on Pete Hoida's work in online discussion at Abcrit.org
So Pasmore, in spite of his abortive pursuit of pure abstraction, joined the ranks of the
British semi abstract painters, Lanyon, Hilton, Scott , Hodgkin, and others, who cannot
commit to a full hearted abstraction, but in their irresolution on the question offer succour
to all those who hold on to that naturalistic spatial illusion, or hints of such, that keeps
their work linked to the old English traditions of poeticised landscape reference.
Since Pete Hoida has entered the fray, I’d ask him to supply images of Antibes 1994 and Uiskhe
(spelling), the sorts of painting of his I wrote about in 1994. Whenever people see horizontality
they inevitably try to read landscape into it. Steps need to be taken to dissuade them. In these
more recent Hoidas I see no landscape as such, but I do see weather, lowering skies, brooding
imminent darkness etc. But not in these 1994 pictures. They knock spots off the quartet named
in my second comment. (see above)
Antibes, courtesy of Almeida restaurant, 86 x 295 cm, 1995
Uisghe, 121 x 288 cm, 2004
What I meant was steps within the painting itself, and these two Hoidas have done that in no uncertain measure.
The virtue of horizontality is that it allows the spatial organisation of the painting to expand into the viewer’s
vision directly , “clear, demarcated, out there, resistant to the eye”, without encouraging them to “see in”,
look for illusionistic recession that isn’t there. Colour makes space directly in reciprocal,influence.
That is all..
What is good about Hoida’s Antibes 1994 and Uiskhe, is that they generate a sense of natural light through colour
juxtapositions without undermining the independent created unity of the whole image, quite a rare achievement in
itself. They neither abstract from landscape nor move towards a depiction of landscape. I was suggesting that the
ones Mel Gooding is talking about are less successful in that regard, partly because of the flashes of light
against the darks.
Following on, something else that I’ve said before, but which also hasn’t “stuck”: when I talk about
“more abstract” I don’t mean a “purer”, more desiccated formalism, but the opposite: a fuller, richer
experience, and “more of it”. That’s why I think complexity is an important part of the mix, and why
one might need to look to get it into the work early in order to sustain it through to synthesis..
Pete’s “Antibes” looks to me to be, as Alan suggests, a better painting than the “horizontals” shown on the film with
Mel Gooding, and what Alan says about the colour and light may well be a factor. But for me it is also better because
it has more complex things going on that relate to one another in more particular ways, rather than just the side-by-side
horizontal bands in the more recent paintings. Plus, there appears to be more spatial layering and “halo-ing” around
the slabs and blocks of colour. Altogether “more”, though it still is a rather orthogonally organised picture, which may
perhaps be a way out of structuring a painting in a more complex, more specific (more abstract?) way.
comments taken from ABCRIT