Hoyland painted 22.8.73 in the year he returned to London from New York. Hoyland had worked in New York in the early 1970s with frequent trips there to see Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell and Clement Greenberg. In 1972, he produced work in a studio in Hamilton, New York.
The works Hoyland produced in 1973 did not come easily and he was not as prolific as he had been in New York where he would sometimes finish several paintings in a few days.
Mel Gooding comments on Hoyland's paintings from 1973, the year when the present work was painted, '(They) are thickly painted and over-painted several times, and took up to three months to complete. Compositionally, they can be seen to have taken the rectangular block (found in Hoyland's very last 60s and earlier 70s works) and expanded it to fill virtually the entire picture plane ... We are confronted by a dumb centre, a blank screen of hard high colour and dense texture; a golden door firmly closed. There is a great deal of surface incident but it is the outcome of reworking the knifed impasto, of pouring over a ground already thickly painted ... What is visible at the edge is no less impenetrable, though there may be odd gaieties of colour, bright pinks, glimpses of pure red and green' (see M. Gooding, John Hoyland, London, 1990, pp. 17-18).
Gooding states that it is possible to read the present work and examples from this time as,' ... a framed field of colour; ... that we are looking through a window or an aperture, or perhaps into a mirror' (op. cit., p. 18).