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Vincent Hoisington (b. 1924, SIngapore - 1972, Singapore) was a talented artist, sculptor, architect and musician who was active during the 1960s and 1970s. He is best known for his murals and aluminium relief works.
A Ceylonese, Vincent Hoisington was born in Singapore in 1924. His father was Henry Martyn Hoisington, a brilliant mathematician and the author of the lyrics of the Anglo-Chinese School anthem. Vincent Hoisington was a self-taught artist who sold his first artwork at the age of 11. He attended St Joseph’s School during World War II, and was taught to play piano by his sister, a skill that later proved to be useful. During the war, he supported himself by painting portraits and making technical drawings for the Japanese. After the war ended, he supplemented his income as an artist by giving piano lessons. In the 1950s, he worked on painting and sculpture commissions and conceptualised decor and window displays for Robinsons and John Little’s department stores.
Hoisington was a pioneer in aluminium art and sculpture, as well as in painting. He was influenced by Degas, Watteau and Pollock, among others. In 1964, Hoisington won a mural competition and was awarded a prize of $6,500 and the opportunity to install his 40ft by 30ft three-dimensional mural in the newly built Chartered Bank building in Kuala Lumpur.
His murals were displayed at various buildings in Singapore, including Singapore Polytechnic, Redemptorist Chapel, Merchant Seamen’s Institute, University of Singapore’s Union House, and the Writer’s Bar at Raffles Hotel. He also pioneered the art form of aluminium etching and relief in Singapore, and used this technique in his interior decoration projects for hotels.
In 1972, he opened his own art gallery at his home at No. 27 Margoliouth Road. The house had a long and varied history, spanning three generations of the Hoisington family. It was used as a hospital during the war, and later became a studio for Hoisington and his children. During the 1960s, Hoisington entertained a number of celebrities and artistic talents there, and amassed a collection of seven grand pianos and various artworks and furniture over the years. The house was demolished in 1982.
Hoisington died of a heart attack on 24 June 1972, at the age of 48, about two months after opening his gallery.
Children: Karen, Henry, Martin, Victor
Aluminium etchings that shimmer as they catch the sun. (1970, June 2). The Straits Times, p. 20. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from NewspaperSG database.
Artist Vincent Hoisington dies of heart attack. (1972, June 25). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from NewspaperSG database.
Brother-sister art team to make debut. (1979, June 21). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from NewspaperSG database.
Good day begins with a $6,500 cheque... (1964, January 30). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from NewspaperSG database.
Hoisington, Agnes. (n.d.). A commemorative catalogue of the art, paintings and sculptures of the late Vincent Hoisington (artist, decorator) pioneer in aluminium etchings & sculptures, p. 4-7.
Treasurehouse of memories. (1982, August 5). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from NewspaperSG database.
The information in this article is valid as at 2010 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic.