press release

Opening reception for the artist: Thursday, April 3rd from 6 to 8pm


"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." --Howard Hodgkin

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Howard Hodgkin, his first show of new work in London since 1999, and his first at the Britannia Street galleries.

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 labour 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.

Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932 and attended Camberwell School of Art and the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. In 1984, he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale and in the following year won the Turner Prize. He has exhibited internationally for over four decades and his work is included in major public and private collections all over the world. Major museum surveys include Paintings 1975-1995, organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, that opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and toured to Fort Worth, Düsseldorf, and London; a major retrospective at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006) traveling to Tate Britain (in a considerably expanded version) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and a survey of paintings of the last decade at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2007), and traveling to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an appreciation by Nobel laureate, Seamus Heaney, and an essay by novelist, Alan Hollinghurst, will be available.

only in german

Howard Hodgkin