Alan Cristea Gallery

31 Cork Street, London
31st May - 7th July 2012

A major new body of works on paper by Howard Hodgkin, one of Britain’s most important living artists, form the basis of our exhibition in celebration of the artist’s 80th birthday.  These 11 new works are remarkably different in feel too much of his earlier work; each is a surprising and powerful burst of energy, displaying brio and passion which, together, cover the spectrum of emotions, from a sense of deep foreboding in some, to joy, and, possibly, even anger in others.

The exhibition title Acquainted with the Night, references the celebrated Robert Frost poem of the same name, often interpreted as a vivid description of the experience of depression, and has a particularly special meaning for Howard Hodgkin as it was the title of his first, and no longer extant lithograph print, made nearly 60 years ago in 1953.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with introduction by art historian, John-Paul Stonard. The exhibition catalogue will also be available in a deluxe version accompanied by a limited edition print in an edition of 50.

Hodgkin’s paintings and prints often evoke memories and private experiences. Since the 1950s, he has made a substantial number of original prints and, for the last 25 years, has favoured heavily hand-painted carborundum and aquatint etchings which allow him to bring the physicality of the paintings into his printmaking. This series of works, some brooding and sombre while others bristle with intensity and physicality, marks a shift in style for Hodgkin, representing a spectrum of emotions while combining confidently pared-down compositions with a sense of spontaneity that belies the extensive process of layering and over-painting by which they have been created.