Vardaxoglou Gallery

London, UK
25th January - 11th March 2023

Howard Hodgkin: The Artists He Painted

Howard Hodgkin: The Artists He Painted brings together works by artists who feature in paintings by Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017).

Hodgkin’s portraits of fellow artists allowed him accessible emotional subjects to establish his distinctive approach to painting. Some of his first portraits were of artist colleagues and students at the Bath Academy of Art, where he studied (1950–54) and taught part-time (1956–66): including Robyn Denny, fellow artist and teacher, painted in 1960 alongside his wife; the Academy’s principal, Clifford Ellis and wife Rosemary, in 1961; and Sue Dunkley, a student of Hodgkin’s, in 1962.

Into the 1960s and 70s, Hodgkin began to make portraits of individuals and couples, also instrumental in shaping post-war British art. Hodgkin’s portraits of Stephen Buckley, Robyn Denny, Patrick Caulfield, Bernard Cohen, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones, Phillip King, R.B. Kitaj, Richard Smith, Peter Blake, and David Hockney all emerged during this time.

Occasionally Hodgkin painted artists more than once: notably Stephen Buckley (three times from 1974 to 1976), Robyn Denny (four times from 1960 to 1975), Richard Smith (four times from 1969 to 1975), Patrick Caulfield (three times from 1967 to 1993), and David Hockney (three times from 1968 to 1992). Only Caulfield and Hockney were painted by Hodgkin after the 1980s.  Included is one of Hodgkin’s final works featuring an artist: ‘After Visiting David Hockney (second version),’ 1991-92.

The exhibition shows the artists connected to Hodgkin in the period 1960 to 1992: those who influenced him and significantly those whom he influenced.

Vardaxoglou Gallery are very grateful to the various generous lenders to this exhibition: Estate of Howard Hodgkin; Estate of Robyn Denny; Estate of Patrick Caulfield; Richard Smith Foundation; Allen Jones; Stephen Buckley; Estate of Sue Dunkley; Estate of Phillip King; Bernard Cohen; and various Private Collections.