Chronology

  • 2015
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    Hodgkin continues to work from Mumbai in the winter months. In February 2015 the major museum in Mumbai, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, presents ‘Howard Hodgkin: Paintings 1984 – 2015, A Tribute’, a collaboration between, CSMVS, Tate and the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, with the support of the British Council and Gagosian Gallery. The catalogue includes a foreword by Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate, and a text by Shanay Jhaveri. It is the most comprehensive show of Hodgkin’s work to be staged in India.

    He paints Poppies (2015) for the Royal Mail, which commissions the design to mark the centenary of the First World War. Hodgkin’s Light Falling (2015) is inspired by Carl Phillips’s poem, ‘What I see is the light falling all around us’ and printed in T: The New York Times Style Magazine’ in the series ‘A Picture and A Poem: Poetry and Art’.

    A solo show of paintings opens at Galerie Andres Thalmann, Zurich, Switzerland and of prints at the Galerie Eric Dupont, Paris, France, both 2015.

  • 2016
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    In 2016 Hodgkin exhibits 24 new paintings at Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York, ‘From Memory’. Works include Morning (2015–16), Dirty Window (2014–15), Love Song (2015) and Blues for Mrs. Chatterjee (2015). The catalogue features an essay by James Lawrence. Many of the pictures were completed during Hodgkin’s winter stay in India.

    He also made a print, For Antony (2016), pictured, to contribute towards Antony Peattie’s new, extensively illustrated book, The Private Life of Lord Byron, to be published by Unbound. It will be reproduced as end papers.

  • 1932
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    1932

    Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin was born on 6 August in Hammersmith, London. H’s first name came from his maternal grandfather, Gordon Hewart, a draper’s son from Bury, Lancashire, who became a journalist, lawyer, M.P. (1913-1922) and Lord Chief Justice (1922-1940). Lord Hewart said in 1924, ‘it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done’. H’s father’s side of the family connected him to a series of interlocking Quaker families, scientists such as Thomas Hodgkin (1798-1866. the older brother of H’s great-great-grandfather), who gave his name to Hodgkin’s disease and the pharmacist Luke Howard F.R.S. (1772-1864), who named the clouds in 1802 and after whom H took his second name. Cousins include Roger Fry (1866-1934) and his sister Margery (1874-1958) as well as the conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner (1943- ). Eliot is another family name. Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987) was another cousin, collector and artist (specialising in still lifes in tempera). H’s father, Eliot was a passionate gardener, who was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s gold medal, worked for ICI. When a gardening friend, E.B. Anderson, invented the ‘queen of the dwarf irises’, he named it ‘Katherine Hodgkin’ in honour of H’s mother. The Daily Telegraph said that it ‘Has to be seen to be believed.’

  • 1937

    1937

    At the age of 5 H determines to become a painter.

  • 1940 - 1943
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    1940

    Evacuated with mother and older sister, Ann (1930 – 2006), to USA, where they live on Long Island and he attends Greenvale School. His early ambition to paint is reinforced when he sees pictures by Stuart Davis, Matisse and Picasso at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

    Image: The Green Vale School, Old Brookville, Long Island, NY 11545.

  • 1945 - 1948

    1945

    At Eton College the art teacher Wilfrid Blunt shows his pupils works borrowed from the Royal Library, next door in Windsor Castle, including Ustad Mansur’s Chameleon (circa 1612, RL12081). H begins to collect Indian miniatures. But he runs away from school twice. He transfers to Bryanston School in Dorset where he appreciates the art teacher Charles Handley-Read but soon runs away again. H is sent to a psychiatrist but convinces him that all he needs is to return to the States. He spends the summer back on Long Island.

  • 1949
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    1949

    Completes the first work he believes in, Memoirs (pictured), an ‘astonishingly prophetic’ small painting, as Richard Cork called it (The Evening Standard, 1976). Its medium (gouache on board), title and subject (a conversation in an interior) anticipate later and apparently disparate work.

  • 1949 - 1950
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    1949

    Studies at Camberwell School of Art (along with Gillian Ayres, Harry Mundy and Christopher Pinsent), where the dominant ethos is ‘Euston Road’ realism.

  • 1950 - 1954
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    1950

    Studies at the residential Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, Wiltshire, which is run by charismatic artists Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. ‘We were taught the Old Master method of painting’, Hodgkin told Alan Woods in 1998. ’Starting with the middle-tone ground and going down into it and up from it. I painted a copy of a Raphael head…But nobody believed in it [the method].’ (Transcript, 03/02) Teachers included William Scott, Jack Smith and Peter Lanyon. With Colin Thompson H arranges the first show of Andre Derain’s paintings in England.

  • 1952

    1952

    First shows in a public gallery – in Bath Art Society’s group show at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath – probably Portrait, which has since been lost. See Missing Works.