AboutFlowers Central is presenting an exhibition of selected works by the brilliant British artist, Derek Hirst, who died last year. Born in 1930 in Doncaster, he was one of the first artists to show with the Angela Flowers gallery in 1970. This exhibition features work that spans the length of a long and involved career.
Ranging from Pop Art and hard-edge to soft, luminous blending of surfaces and tones, from doors and chairs to seascapes, Hirst's painting seems diverse in the extreme. Yet the work is inherently bound together by the consistency of his preoccupations and passions. In marshalling his array of subjects and styles, his point of reference is always the observed world and a devotion to nature as a metaphor for life. Hirst's attraction to different materials and the possibilities they suggested allowed for endless variations on a theme, while his powerful composition and seductive textures all contribute to a body of work that is enigmatic and challenging - with a touch of the sinister.
Hirst drew heavily on his life-long and passionate relationship with Catalonia, a landscape and a culture that can be alienating and harsh just as easily as joyful and welcoming. It was a place with which he was consistently fascinated and which he describes as ?exhilarating and inspirational?. He returned many times to painted reliefs of Spanish doors as objects of contemplation with their own special presence.
His life was deeply shadowed by illness, following the diagnosis of cancer in 1975. The work made in the tortured years thereafter, with its pervasive strength and defiant exuberance, is testament to great courage and determination. It will remain timeless.