Influenced by the greats: de Kooning, Rothko, Rembrandt, Van Gogh & Turner, Wendy Hyde is setting her standards high. It is certainly possible to determine their legacy in her impressive works of art with their large, gestural brushstrokes and spreading vistas of hue. Artist Wendy Hyde has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Recent selected exhibitions over the last two years include: the Temple Gallery West Midlands, the Knapp Gallery Regents Park London, the Hugh Angle Gallery Stow-on-the-Wold and the Agora Gallery in New York.
Her work has also attracted significant commissions such as the one for the GM Office Marriott Hotel, Forest of Arden in 2010. Earlier this year, her work could be seen at Art Fair Bristol and the Grand Design Show in May.
Hyde describes her work as Abstract Expressionist: shape, light, colour and space are the building blocks of her visual vocabulary. But how might this term “Abstract Expressionist” be described? One example might be in the words of the mid 20th Century American painter Robert Motherwell, who felt that “abstract art is stripped bare of things in order to intensify it, its rhythms, spatial intervals and colour structure.”
Interestingly, Hyde herself lists music amongst her primary sources of inspiration and her tastes are as wide ranging as her paintings themselves: Bach, Mendelssohn, Count Basie…indeed often, her titles direct the viewer to her sources, allowing more of a way in to the artist’s experience.
For Russian painter Kandinsky however, painting was “music without words”. He said “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” Kandinsky was blessed with synaesthesia - when he saw color he heard music.
In her piece “For the Influence of Bach, (Cello suites 1-3)” one might imagine the tonal warmth of the strings, the majesty of his contrapuntal blocks of sound, building one on top of the other… Hyde's paintings defy words and that is their raison d’etre: they exist as entities in themselves, even without needing to hear the music.
With a method that involves working on a large scale when possible, as this gives her more freedom of movement and allows her to be more experimental. My preferred medium is oil on canvas or paper. “I paint not what I see of the visible world, but how I feel it to be. It is not a literal description of a place, but a feeling of a place, and how one is effected by that environment.”
As well as music, she takes her inspiration from the land, sea and sky, digesting the colours she sees there in the outer world, transforming them, with an admixture of inner emotion to confidently assert her feeling in the world. In this sense, the words of De Kooning are perfectly apt: “Spiritually, I am wherever my spirit allows me to be”.