A new exhibition at the Hatton Gallery has opened earlier this month. ‘Peter Yates: Paintings 1939-1982’ is a retrospective on the work of renowned local architect and painter Peter Yates alongside work of local artists.
Peter Yates was best known as an architect and founding partner of the North East architectural practice Ryder and Yates. But alongside his work as an architect, Peter Yates was also a fanatic painter on canvas and in mural form. Yates work varied from time spent with renowned Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier who remarked – ‘this boy can see things’ to his murals on the history of cinema at the Tyneside Cinema and abstract mythological compositions at Bevin Court, London for Berthold Lubetkin (with whom Yates had earlier worked on the aborted plans for Peterlee New Town).
The exhibition at the Hatton Gallery will showcase an underrepresented aspect of Yates’ creative career by bringing together over forty of his paintings from 1939 to 1980. Many of these works show scenes from his extensive travels – around Greece, France, Spain and Italy– which would also inspire his architectural designs, suggesting that his work as a painter and as an architect was inextricably linked.
Also exhibited alongside Yates paintings is reflective work by local artists John & Karen Topping and David Bilbrough, made in response to his architectural and artistic legacy in the North East. The exibition is free to attend and open 10th January til 9th May 2015. For more information see the Hatton Gallerys website for opening times.
Bevin Court Mural by Peter Yates for Berthold Lubetkin
An office building constructed to house multiple voluntary organisations together in a single building, was constructed in 1972-4 to the designs of Ryder and Yates. The building’s unique and innovative design incorporates a Vierendeel truss structural arrangement that dispenses with the need for columns, instead suspending the building slabs from deep beams in the penthouse and subframes. Ryder and Yates were one of the most important post-war regional firms in England and this building represents their first major building in Newcastle city centre and one of their most prominent works. It is believed to be the first purpose-built building to house multiple community service organisations under a single roof.
Along with Ryder and Yates MEA House, their former office in Killingworth was also listed. Dedicated work from Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust has brough this building to the attention with an ongoing campaign to repair and restore the building back into use. You can give a small donation here towards its preservation. English Heritage descibed the significance of the offices as:
Constructed in 1964-5 is an elegant building with strong architectural character derived by its clean crisp lines and sharp detailing. It was designed by Ryder and Yates, one of the most important post-war regional firms in England and is little altered both externally and internally. Its modernist single-storey pavilion form, which reuses the steel frame of a building Ryder & Yates designed for the 1962 London Olympia exhibition, provides an interesting reflection of the links between modern architecture and exhibition design, as well as showing the influence of Le Corbusier and Lubetkin on Ryder and Yates’ work.