Timothy Hyman RA
Timothy Hyman’s art speaks largely of London – its people, its buildings and its frenzy – often with a perspective that shifts our recognition. His voice also resonates far beyond his own art; he is an acclaimed curator, writer and lecturer. He curated the ground-moving exhibition ‘Narrative Paintings’ in 1979 at the ICA, London and Arnolfini, Bristol; the touring Hayward Gallery exhibition – ‘Carnivalesque’ in 2000; was lead curator for a Stanley Spencer retrospective at the Tate in 2001 and recently co-curated British Vision at MSK, Ghent in 2007-08. He has published monographs on Pierre Bonnard, Sienese Painting and Bhupen Khakhar, as well as being a longstanding contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. He has a new monograph on 20th century figurative painting due to be published in 2016 by Thames and Hudson.
Timothy’s work is in many collections including Los Angeles County Museum, USA; Arts Council Collection, UK; British Council Collection, UK; The British Museum, UK; Deutsche Bank, UK; Government Collection, UK, Pallant House, UK and Clifford Chance, UK. He was elected as a Royal Academician in 2011.
Timothy has made two etchings with us. One explores a stretch of road down towards the National Gallery with bookshops on the left, well trodden by him and that has ‘become a kind of emblem’. He has relived this favoured place through the founder of the Cynic philosophers, Diogenes, a man who famously lived in a barrel without possessions. Diogenes was known to carry a lantern through the Athenian streets in full daylight; when challenged, he replied that he was ‘searching for an honest citizen’.
The second etching – ‘My Cosmic Illness’ – considers the sickness and mortality felt at a certain stage in life, ‘as one revolves in planetary London’.
Timothy wryly pointed out a quote by Vladimir Nabokov in respect to this topic: “Only one letter divides the comic from the cosmic.”