The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, along with lead project partners Susan Olde, OBE, and the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing, are proud to present the Bendel Hydes Retrospective catalogue to district and school libraries across the Cayman Islands.
The 200-page, full-colour publication accompanies the large-scale exhibition currently on view at the National Gallery. It aims to present the most comprehensive survey of Hydes’ career to date, tracing his artistic legacy through early figurative drawing to the remarkable ‘luminescent’ abstractions of the last decade.
Known affectionately as the ‘Founding Father’ of the contemporary art scene, Hydes was the first Caymanian to attend formal art school, the first to represent the Cayman Islands at significant art events such as the Sao Paolo Biennial and multiple Caribbean groups exhibitions, and the first to receive critical acclaim internationally. “The importance of Hydes’ contribution to the formal development of visual art in the Cayman Islands cannot be understated. Through this exhibition and accompanying catalogue we aim to honour that contribution and celebrate all that Bendel has achieved,” says exhibition Chief Curator Natalie Urquhart.
Drawing on multiple primary interviews with Hydes’ family members, friends and prominent collectors of his work, along with extensive archival research, the publication explores Hydes’ legacy through a detailed biography, essays, a career timeline and over 200 artworks. It traces the stylistic evolution of his practice from early representational watercolours and traditional maritime scenes, through his quasi-surrealist, semi-abstract and expressive paintings of the mid-1980s and early 1990s, and finally to the large-scale, all-over abstractions which the artist is synonymous with today.
Due to the generous support of the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing, and NGCI Chairperson and exhibition sponsor Susan Olde, OBE, copies of the catalogue are now being donated to schools across the island as well as district and service club libraries.
Speaking on the importance of the book, Mrs. Olde, OBE, said, “This career survey of Hydes’ artistic practice offers a thoughtful celebration of his remarkable legacy - bringing to life, in a definitive fashion, the singular vision of Cayman’s pre-eminent visual artist. It is perhaps impossible to overstate the significance of Bendel Hydes within the history of Caymanian art, and we are thrilled to present this catalogue to schools across the island in the hope it will inspire the next generation of artists.”
The catalogue is available for general purchase at the National Gallery Gift Shop. The exhibition runs until January 30 2020, with limited school tour bookings still available under the NGCI’s Dart supported Minds Inspired programme. For further information about the catalogue or to book a tour please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (345) 945 8111.