Howard Hodgkin dies aged 84

The British painter Howard Hodgkin has died on the age of 84. An announcement issued by the Tate mentioned that he died peacefully in hospital in London. The Tate’s director Nicholas Serota, who staged exhibitions of Hodgkin’s work in any respect three museums he has directed, Trendy Artwork Oxford (1976), the Whitechapel Gallery (1985) and Tate Britain (2006), says that Hodgkin was “one of many nice artists and colourists of his era. His sensuous, intense work had been infused together with his love and understanding of late 19th-century French portray, particularly Degas, Vuillard and Bonnard, and by his feeling for the warmth and colors of India, which he visited on many events.” 

Hodgkin gained the Turner Prize in 1985, the 12 months after an acclaimed present within the British Pavilion on the Venice Biennale, and has exhibited broadly and prominently since, together with on the Hayward Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York (1995-96) and the Reina Sofía in Madrid in 2007. His work could seem summary at first, however had been in reality memorials to recollections. “His attribute topic, the reminiscence of a gathering or a dialog with a pal, resulted in work that radiate the feelings of life: love, anger, self-importance, magnificence and companionship,” Serota says. 

Hodgkin’s work within the 1960s was dominated by witty, extremely colored and patterned footage of mates in interiors, however from the 1970s onwards, his language grew freer and his topics broader. Journey grew to become an rising fixation, and Hodgkin produced main our bodies of labor in Naples and Venice specifically, arguably catching the melancholic watery fantastic thing about La Serenissima higher than any artist since JMW Turner. 

However his travels to India prompted his most sustained engagement with place: over 5 many years, he produced numerous poetic evocations of Indian views and experiences, redolent of the panorama, the meals, the interiors and textiles of the continent, but in addition of its warmth, even its claustrophobia. On his many visits to India, he amassed an unrivalled assortment of Indian work which had been a lifelong and, as he mentioned, sometimes harmful ardour. Although his work used framing units and excessive color, Hodgkin all the time rejected the concept they had been influenced by his Indian assortment. Certainly, his holdings had been uncommon in that lots of the works he owned had been monochrome: magnificent drawings of elephants had been among the many many highlights.

In some ways, Hodgkin’s trajectory as a painter was orthodox: his dealing with grew progressively looser, his compositions extra summary, and extra sparse, with huge areas of the floor left naked. He painted on wooden from the late 1960s onwards, as a result of, he mentioned, canvas turned to linoleum when put below the stress of his layers and revisions, as he strove to finish footage over a number of years. After I interviewed him in 2008, he advised me that he was spending extra time in his studio. “I are available right here, usually at night time, and simply look. It usually seems to be as if I don’t do any work in any respect: it’s not true, after all.” And he was acutely conscious that of time operating out, investing his later work with deeper emotion than ever. “I believe it’s the end-of-life type of feeling: not a lot time left. The doorways are going to close in a tube practice… Which for somebody of my age is inevitable, I don’t imply it to sound dramatic. But it surely’s all the time at the back of your thoughts.”

Hodgkin remained a prolific painter and printmaker to the top, with exhibitions final 12 months of latest etchings on the Alan Cristea Gallery in London, and new work on the Gagosian Gallery in Paris. Gagosian Hong Kong is exhibiting a few of his final works till 11 March. And Hodgkin is the topic of two main exhibits in Britain this 12 months. A present of work impressed by India opens on the Hepworth Wakefield on 30 June, and a Nationwide Portrait Gallery exhibition, all-too-fittingly known as Absent Mates, opens subsequent week.

Simon Wallis of the Hepworth Wakefield described Hodgkin as “probably the most essential artists of our time” and added that the gallery was “enormously grateful for Howard’s generosity together with his time and his enthusiasm. We’re proud to be realising an exhibition concerning the affect of India on his work, a spot that he was so captivated with, and from which he drew such inspiration all through his life.”