Artist comments on 'Pete Hoida, New Paintings' at the APT Gallery
Mali Morris RA
16 Jul at 13:36
The show looks great -
My favourites in the show are Extraordinary Mortals (its directness), Dance of the Cuttlefish (its succinct economy), and The Peach (its colour chord) - although am enjoying many more, as well. Seeing them all together, in their own company, they seem not like anyone else’s, although still belonging to a tradition. Enjoyed Chris Stephens essay - especially that W.S Graham quote at end.
All very best
After today, Friday 12th, this show is on for two more days this weekend, then four days at the end of next week, closing on Sunday 21st. I saw it yesterday and I recommend it strongly. I hope to write something about it early next week. It’s very challenging! Well done, Pete.
At least a couple of the half-thoughts and semi-theories in my recent short essay on Abcrit, “Past and Future Abstract”,
have been knocked somewhat by Pete Hoida’s show of new work at APT. This was not something I expected to happen, because
I admit to not being a big backer of Pete’s work up until this date. I have never responded all that well to the slender
horizontal landscape stripes to which he has simplified the design rather frequently; and I liked his “other kind” of
weird and decorative small pictures – a kind of “alternative” view of abstract art, intentionally for the puzzle of it,
I always thought – even less.
There is now, however, a strong case to be made in favour of seeing his work differently – for me, anyway. The handful or so larger works to be found at APT are certainly his best, and perhaps some of the most interesting and accomplished new abstract paintings around. They look very confident. Here is some original work not seen or appreciated before, as far as I can tell. They don’t remind me of anyone else’s work. It’s different and creative. It destroys flatness without making depth too much of an ongoing figurative (or abstract) issue, mainly because all the different ways of applying paint, such as the scattered thin drips covered in parts by the thicker layers of textured rectangles seem well-integrated, even when strongly contrasted. It’s bold and brave experimental painting without overstating its case as dramatic composition.
Even when the catalogue for the show arrived, with an essay by Chris Stephens, I wasn’t persuaded, other than to give the work a fair chance, like you do with anything. But the work does take its chances. True, there remains in the show a wide ariety of quality, and I think it is a shame that two of the bigger works (as seen in the catalogue) were not hung. Many of the smaller works are not up to the vision. Even the largest painting in the show, “Extraordinary Mortals” from 2014, with its orthogonal organisation of rectangular boxes, looks too regular, orthodox and familiar.
But then you get to work like “Crucible”, 2011-2018; “Isafjorour”, 2018; “Duke of Earl”, 2018; and especially “Cashmere Cutie”, 2018, all of which go beyond anything I’ve taken on board before from Pete. The huge range of application and depth of space(s) seems unprecedented – is there another painter doing this? You are pulled about so much (in a good way, in the best work) by the complexity of mixed content that the visual coherence of it is a genuine surprise.
comments taken from ABCRIT