Howard Hodgkin who hated painting Dies at 84

Howard Hodgkin dies aged 84

Howard Hodgkinson
Howard Hodgkin in front of one of his paintings

 

Howard Hodgkin the great man is no longer with us.

The abstract painter and printmaker died on Thursday in hospital in London.

He was a key figure in contemporary art for over half a century.

Howard Hodgkin was renown for his ability to contrast colour with a contrast of tone and produced memorable and distinctive images that to most people would appear to be completely abstract, but to Howard Hodgkin, they represent moments and memories that had great meaning to him.

I paint representational pictures of emotional situations

An interesting fact and unusual for an artist of such note is that he hated the process of painting.  Sometimes he would take an age to finish a piece, going back time after time and sometimes making the slightest of changes until he resolved what he perceived was not quite right with the work in his studio, a converted dairy in Bloomsbury.

Howard Hodgkin-monsoon
Howard Hodgkin – Monsoon,1987

Interviewed for the BBC

He said in a BBC interview in 2014 “People have often said to me, ‘aren’t you lucky to be able to do this for a living’ and I say no, thank you, I’m not lucky, I may be lucky with the result but to go through the horrors of painting pictures is not something I ever look forward to.”

Howard Hodgkin-Florida Garden
Howard Hodgkin – Florida Garden

Hodgkin was a genial man, but occasionally prickly or morose.  A man whose temperament could change quickly and often did.

Hodgkin lived in a world of colour and was very much influenced by his trips to India which he visited often and was fascinated by the quality of the light and the vibrancy of the colours he saw all around him.

In 1985 he won the Turner Prize and represented the UK at the Venice Biennale the previous year and in 1992 he was knighted.

Here are a couple of quotes that sum up the essence of Howard Hodgkin:

“If I could ever really succeed, I would paint pictures that were so direct, and in which the subject was so displayed, that each would be like a piece of fruit being handed to you on a plate.” -1970’s

“You need things to look at, things to affect your feelings, and your intelligence, and your heart.” – 2001

studio 18

 

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