This signed lithograph from 1968 is a rare, limited edition of 75 from Howard Hodgkin’s 5 Rooms series. The horizontal print presents to the viewer a very stylised and minimalistic representation of a palm tree, as seen by the artist from the inside of his room in India. The print is dominated by warm, understated yellows, through which Hodgkin painted both the tree and the background, interrupted by accents of bright orange and blue.
Indian Room occupies a special place in Hodgkin’s oeuvre, for it is one of the first works on paper where the artist represents India through palm trees, a motif which will become distinctive of his work. Hodgkin visited India for the first time in his thirties, in 1964, inspired by the richness and beauty of Indian miniatures. Upon reaching India, Hodgkin then fell in love with its culture of colours, which inspired heavily his abstract palette, and returned to the country annually. The marvellous encounter with India led Hodgkin to create many works inspired by his travel memories, for example his Indian Views series.
With regards to the importance of India to his art, the artist stated: “I fell in love with Indian art when I was at school, thanks to the enterprising art master, Wilfrid Blunt. I longed to visit India, but only managed to do so in my early thirties. It proved a revelation. It changed my way of thinking and, probably, the way I paint.”