DEREK HIRST (1930- 2006)
Derek Hirst’s visual style permutated from precisely calculated, hard-edged colour to a luminous blending of surfaces and tones. Hirst worked with an exceptionally varied subject matter, deploying media ranging from oils, dyes and acrylic to less conventional materials such as sand, plaster, rope, and dried reeds. He was devoted to producing art that evoked a sense of place – from the balanced formal beauty of the Zen gardens of Kyoto to the industrial landscapes of his native Doncaster. In Christine Morris’ film about Hirst, he described his art-making as a journey, describing his work as “evidence that I have been alive.”
Hirst was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, in 1930. He studied at Doncaster Art School and the Royal College of Art in London, before establishing himself as an artist and lecturer. He travelled extensively, spending extended periods in Catalonia from 1953-1973, where he absorbed the work of Miró, Gaudí and Tapies, as well as visiting Morocco to study Arabic architecture. Hirst held teaching posts in the USA, Canada, and Australia, as well as the UK. Hirst’s work has been exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Camden Arts Centre, London; the Museo Municipal, Madrid, and he was included in two exhibitions at Tate Gallery during the 1970s. It is also held in many notable collections, including the Arts Council of Great Britain; Art Institute Detroit, USA; Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; the Government Art Collection, UK; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the National Gallery of Canada, Ontario.