John Hoyland was born in 1934 in Sheffield, Yorkshire. He enrolled in the junior art department at Sheffield College of Art in 1946 instead of attending grammar school, then from 1956-60 was at Royal Academy Schools, where in 1959 his entire diploma show of abstracts was taken down by order of the RA’s president Sir Charles wheeler. Hoyland was elected RA in 1991. He became an influential teacher, at Hornsey College of Art, Croydon School of Art, Chelsea College of Art (where he was principal lecturer from 1965), St Martin’s School of art, Royal Academy of Schools and Slade School of Fine Art, from which he resigned in 1989.
Hoyland has won a number of prizes, including Calouste Gulbenkian Purchase Award, 1963; first prize at John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool in 1982; joint first prize in Korn Ferry International Award Exhibition in 1986; and in the following year first prize in the Athena Art Awards Exhibition. Hoyland developed a strong attachment to America, from the late 1960s making visits to New York and setting up a studio there and in 1972 becoming Charles A Dana professor of fine arts, Colgate University, Hamilton.
He was in close touch with such abstract painters as Noland and Motherwell and in 1988 travelled America selecting and curating the Hans Hofman show for the Tate gallery. In 1986 he designed sets for Sadlers Wells ballet Zansa. Hoyland exhibited widely internationally, including Whitechapel Art Gallery, Waddington Galleries, Serpentine Gallery with tour, 1979-80, Compass Gallery in Glasgow and Flowers East. Tate Gallery, British Council and other major collections hold his work. Lives in London.