‘Howard Hodgkin was one of the great artists and colourists of his generation,’ said former Tate Director, Nicholas Serota who curated the painter’s first retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1976.
Born in London in 1932, Hodgkin was evacuated to America during the war. He went on to study at the Camberwell School of Art in the late 1940s, followed by four years at Bath Academy of Art. In 1984, he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, the art world’s equivalent to the Oscars, and was awarded the Turner Prize a year later in 1985.
Known for his vivacious, vividly colourful abstract paintings that often directly incorporated the frame, Hodgkin didn’t start to gain recognition until the late 1970s. Drawing on various influences from his many trips to India and Sri Lanka and his love of late nineteenth-century French painting, Hodgkin’s work explored the representation of memories and encounters.
A number of exhibitions already scheduled this year including Hodgkin, Absent Friends, at London’s National Portrait Gallery from March 23 to June 18, 2017, now take on a whole new meaning.