Howard Hodgkin


English – 1932 – 2017

Howard Hodgkin, in his studio in front of one of his his etchings in the series As Time Goes By. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe/Guardian

Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932.  He served in the Royal Air Force during WWII.  He wanted to pursue a career in art from an early age.  He may have been influenced by family members who were artists.  His mother was a botanical illustrator and he had a cousin who was a still life painter.  He studied art at the Camberwell Art School and at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham.

Hodgkin’s paintings are often inspired by memories with friends and experiences of his own life.  He once referred to his work as “representational pictures of emotional situations”.  While his style is distinctive to him, comparisons have been made to the Abstract Expressionists and artists such as Matisse, Vuillard and Degas.  His many trips to India were also influential to his style.  He worked slowly and often took several years to complete a piece.  His work is usually smaller in scale, but he is known for his extraordinary understanding of color and evocative forms.

Real appreciation for the work he was creating didn’t really come until 1970s, but he did exhibit regularly.  Throughout his career, Howard Hodgkin has been honored many times.  In 1984, Hodgkin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, in 1985 he won the Turner Prize, and in 1992 he was knighted by the Queen.  In 2003, he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as a Companion of Honour.  These are a just a few of the honors and recognition bestowed upon Hodgkin.

Howard Hodgkin died at the age of 84 in London.