Derek Hyatt (1931 – 2015) – Artist
Derek Hyatt was born in Ilkley, Yorkshire in 1931. He studied at Leeds College of Art (1948 – 1952), then the Royal College of Art (1954 – 1958) where he was awarded the Royal Scholar prize in 1955 and the J. Andrew Lloyd Scholarship for Landscape Painting in 1958. While at the RCA he edited Ark Magazine (issues 21, 22 and 23 – Winter 1957 to Autumn 1958), his issue on colour symbolism selling 3,000 copies in three days.
Alex Seago writes in his book Burning the Box of Beautiful Things: The Development of a Postmodern Sensibility (p40, Clarendon Press, 1995) that Feeling that ARK had paid more than enough attention to pop Americana, Hyatt focused on romanticism and landscape painting. Eastern art (with a particularly distinguished layout by art editor David Varley), Dadaism and Art Autre, featuring articles on Schwitters and Dubuffet. Issue 23 also contained the first article to appear in Britain about Frank Auerbach, recently graduated from the Painting School.
Between 1954 and 1964 Hyatt was visiting lecturer at Kingston College of Art. In 1964 he returned to his beloved Yorkshire and was a lecturer at Leeds College of Art from 1964 to 1968, then senior lecturer until 1984. Hyatt was made a Companion of the Guild of St George in 1990.
His paintings and drawings feature in the public and corporate collections of major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Contemporary Art Society, London, the Universities of Leeds, Oxford, Harvard and Yale, the Nuffield Foundation – a charitable trust established in 1943 by William Morris (Lord Nuffield), founder of Morris Motors, as well as the De Beers Collection.
In 1993, the art critic Peter Fuller described Derek Hyatt in Modern Painters magazine as one of the most important painters of landscape in Britain (Reflections on Modern Art, Modern Painters magazine) which is something Hyatts major 2001 retrospective Meetings on the Moor at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, further acknowledged.
Meetings on the Moor – The Bishopdale Paintings
Video embedded by courtesy of Art Space Gallery