Colin Hayes was born in 1919 in London and read Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford, Hayes also attended art classes at the Ruskin School of Drawing. At the outbreak of war in 1939, Hayes volunteered and served in the Royal Engineers. He was invalided out of the Army in 1945. Hayes's first major solo exhibition was at Marlborough Fine Arts in London. During the 1950s he was part of a group of tutors who transformed the Royal College of Art into a leading force in English art education. Among his many students were Bridget Riley, Peter Blake, R.B. Kitaj, David Hockney and Frank Auerbach. He retired in 1984 and remained an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College until his death in 2003.
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