My pictures are finished when the subject comes back. I start out with the subject, and naturally I have to remember first what it looked like, but it would perhaps also contain a great deal of feeling and sentiment. All that has got to be somehow transmuted, transformed, or made into a physical object, and when that happens, when that’s finally been done, when the last physical marks have been put on and the subject comes back . . . well, the painting is finished.
Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings by Howard Hodgkin, in his first show of new work in London since 1999, and his first at the Britannia Street gallery.
Hodgkin’s paintings are unmistakable with their assertive compressed gestures; brush-swept, complex textures; daring, voluptuous palette; and dynamic interchange of light and dark. The presence of a subject, no matter how hermetic, allusive, or fragmentary, is felt to reside in the heart of each. Hodgkin is an artist who embraces spontaneity and directness in equal measure to the processes of reflection, capitulation, and disguise. Sometimes he will labor for years over what looks like a single brush mark produced in an instant. His pictures, with their incorporated frames and painted wooden supports, behave as both objects and images.
In twenty works completed in 2007 and 2008, Hodgkin explores themes of American freedom and erotic intimacy, successfully engineering the intermarriage of private memories with mainstream abstract painting—“the facts of life as visual art,” as the late Robert Rosenblum once described them. The works vary in scale, although there is a marked preference for the epic, whether in intimate, warmly expressive subjects such as Artist and Model and Blushing, or in bold and exhilarating landscapes, such as the huge, incandescent Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word and the fiercely rendered Home, Home on the Range.
A fully illustrated catalogue with an appreciation by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and an essay by novelist Alan Hollinghurst will be available.
Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt
Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.
Layla and Majnun
A celebrated collaboration between Sir Howard Hodgkin and choreographer Mark Morris. Nancy Dalva takes us behind the scenes.
Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends
In this video interview, National Portrait Gallery senior curator Paul Moorhouse explains how Hodgkin increasingly abstracted what people meant to him, representing people in his pictures through memories, evocations, and feelings.
Howard Hodgkin From London to Hong Kong
In Howard Hodgkin: From London to Hong Kong, we are welcomed into the celebrated painter’s London studio. Narrated by Robin Vousden.