An exhibition comprising a collection of work by the late Peter Yates, painter and founding partner of leading North East architectural firm Ryder and Yates, opens at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle early next year.
Peter Yates: Paintings 1939-1982 opens on 10 January 2014 and showcases an underrepresented aspect of Yates’ creative career by bringing together over 40 of his paintings from that period.
Julie Milne, chief curator of Art Galleries, says: “Peter Yates made a significant contribution to architecture in the North East, something which he is best known for. But alongside and even prior to his achievements as an architect, Yates was also an accomplished painter with a virtuoso eye for form and colour.
“As Le Corbusier poetically observed during Yates’ early artistic career, ‘this boy can see things’. We feel honoured to be able to show his work.”
In a statement about the exhibition, the Yates Family said: “Our family have always loved these paintings and we are delighted to bring them to a wider audience. Peter loved the North East and it is particularly fitting that this exhibition is being held at the Hatton where Peter held his last major exhibition in 1982.”
Many of the paintings which will be on display were inspired by the artist’s extensive travels around Europe, and his landscapes often focus on presenting the unique buildings associated with the places he visited, but always in his own modern style.
For instance, the traditional white-clad houses of Greece appear in his paintings as simplified forms. The same elegant modernism can be seen in the architectural details on his buildings, such as the horns on Norgas House and the cones on the Engineering Research Station.
Arguably it was flourishes such as these, where Yates’ architectural practice and artistic vision were combined, that earned Ryder & Yates’ buildings the recognition of being amongst the most pioneering examples of post-war British design.
To accompany the exhibition of Peter Yates’ paintings there will be a display of new work by Newcastle-based contemporary artists John and Karen Topping and David Bilbrough, made in response to his architectural and artistic legacy in the North East.