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Howard
Hodgkin

Forging his own path towards abstraction in 1960s Britain, Howard Hodgkin distinguished himself from his contemporaries in the Pop Art movement. We offer free and confidential valuations and market advice on any Hodgkin print, with zero obligation to sell. If you're looking to buy or sell original prints and editions, browse the artist's portfolio and enquire today.

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Biography

Howard Hodgkin was an Abstract painter whose popularity extends beyond the 20th century constraints of the movement. His large-scale paintings, with their bold use of colour and brushstrokes, present deep colourful landscapes able to fascinate anyone watching. An apt printmaker, Hodgkin's art explored the expressive possibilities of the medium, pushing the boundaries of convention to include colour and texture on paper at a time when monochromatism was in vogue.

Born in Hammersmith in 1932, as a child Hodgkin was evacuated to Long Island, New York, during World War II. During this time, the artist spent his afternoons secluded within the walls of MoMA, and took a keen interest in the works of the School of Paris. He then decided, at the age of just five years old, that he wanted to be an artist. After moving back to the UK, Hodgkin ran away from Eton College and went on to study at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, and the Bath Academy of Art.

Hodgkin’s career took off in the 1980s. After being asked by fellow painter John Hoyland to exhibit at the Hayward Annual, Hodgkin represented Britain at the 1984 Venice Biennale and was awarded the Turner Prize in 1985. In 1992, Hodgkin’s passion for Indian art led to his being asked to design a mural for the headquarters of Charles Correa’s British Council in India. Hodgkin went on to be awarded an honorary DLitt from the University of Oxford, the Shakespeare Prize of 1997, and the first Swarovski Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon award. In addition, he was appointed a CBE in 1977, knighted in 1992, made a Companion of Honour in 2003, and a Trustee of the National Gallery.

Hodgkin’s works, which the artist describes as “representational paintings of emotional landscapes”, evoke the bliss of past memories and exotic travels. Far from simple abstract representations, Hodgkin’s palette and brushstrokes re-present on canvas and paper the artist’s most intimate world. For instance, in his Rain (1984-89), the brushstrokes themselves provide a frame for the picture-space, to highlight that the work of art is not a window into an imaginative space but an object to be emotionally engaged with.

Works like Put Out More Flags (1992) demonstrate instead Hodgkin’s innovative approach to printmaking. At first, this work appears to be another of his colourful oil paintings. On closer inspection, the viewer can see that it is a print, mimicking the effects of oil paint through clever layering techniques.

To this day, Hodgkin has had presentations in many high profile public galleries, from the Barbican to the National Gallery, MOMA and the Irish Museum of Art, which attest to his international recognition.

Goodbye To The Bay Of Naples by Howard Hodgkin

Image © Christie's / Goodbye To The Bay Of Naples © Howard Hodgkin 1982

1. £1.7M for Howard Hodgkin's Goodbye To The Bay Of Naples

Goodbye to the Bay of Naples by Howard Hodgkin sold as a part of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on October 6th, 2017. The piece was first exhibited as a part of Howard Hodgkin’s presentation for Britain’s pavilion at the XLI Venice Biennale in 1984.

Conceived in 1980-1982, it’s a perfect example of Hodgkin’s mature style and ability to capture complex memories and emotions through rich, gestural brushstrokes. Using a warm palette of yellows, reds greens and blues, the painting evokes the essence of the sun’s last rays shimmering on the Mediterranean sea through a style that oscillates between abstraction and figuration. In his characteristic, innovative style, the artist expands his painterly vision beyond the limitations of the canvas and incorporates its frame into the fiery landscape. Goodbye to the Bay of Naples had been previously acquired by its owner from the Barron Family Collection.

The Green Chateau by Howard Hodgkin

Image © Christie's / The Green Chateau © Howard Hodgkin 1980

2. £1.3M for Howard Hodgkin's The Green Château

The Green Château by Howard Hodgkin sold as a part of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on October 6th, 2017. With its opulent palette of strong primary colours, it’s a prime illustration of Hodgkin’s breakthrough period, executed between 1976-1980.

Challenging the boundaries between painting and frame, the artist covers the latter with a sumptuous, bright red stroke, expanding the limits of the emotive image with a geometric narrative unfolding at its centre. The painting was first exhibited as a part of A New Spirit in Painting at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 1981 before being included in Hodgkin’s 1984 exhibition at the XLI Venice Biennale, representing Britain. The Green Château had been previously acquired by its owner from the Barron Family Collection.

In The Green Room by Howard Hodgkin

Image © Christie's / In The Green Room © Howard Hodgkin 1986

3. £1.2M for Howard Hodgkin's In The Green Room

Howard Hodgkin’s In The Green Room sold at the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction with Christie’s on February 11th, 2015. The painting was created between 1984-1986, at the height of Hodgkin’s career, after he represented Britain at the XLI Venice Biennale (1984) and won the Turner Prize (1985).

It’s one of the largest works ever created by the artist, rendering an abstracted domestic interior in a striking palette of forest green and royal blue, overlaid with a lively orange dotted pattern. The luscious array of dynamic brushstrokes and architectural forms meet in a loosely geometric composition on the canvas. The work is permeated by Hodgkin’s personal and professional joy experienced in this period, when he had just recently met his partner, Antony Peattie. In the Green Room had been acquired by the seller from the Acquavella Galleries in New York.

Out of the Window by Howard Hodgkin

Image © Bonham's / Out of the Window © Howard Hodgkin 2000