This signed etching from 2015 is a limited edition of 100 from Howard Hodgkin’s Dedications collection. The horizontal print is abstract, dominated by bright and vibrant splashes of reds, greens and blues that interact and merge onto the white background of the paper surface.
For Antony belongs to the last stage of Hodgkin’s works on paper, and is one of the most personal prints that Hodgkin produced towards the end of his life, two years before his death in 2017. As the title suggests, the print represents a dedication to Hodgkin’s life-long partner, Antony Peattie, a British music writer and literary critic. Hodgkin produced the print to honour his partner’s recent book, The Private Life of Lord Byron (2015), which was gifted to each buyer of the artist’s work.
Cristea Roberts Gallery featured the print in one of the largest retrospectives made on Hodgkin’s prints, entitled Howard Hodgkin: Strictly Personal, held in London from October to December 2019 in honour of the artist’s commitment to and love for printmaking. The exhibition was divided into two parts. Whilst the first focused on Hodgkin’s early production, featuring works produced from 1966 to 2005, Part II, where For Antony was exhibited, offered instead a posthumous assessment of the artistic shifts occurring in Hodgkin’s style from 2006 to 2017. Chief amongst the stylistic and thematic evolution of Hodgkin’s works, according to the Gallery, was the artist’s predilection for evoking his memories and experiences through vitality and even, in the words of the curator, “wildness”, as evident in this beautiful and personal image.