Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert

London, UK
21st February - 12th April 2024

Patrick Caulfield and Howard Hodgkin: Painter-Colleagues

Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert are delighted to announce the first exhibition to focus solely on the work of the two British painters and close friends, Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) and Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017). The exhibition brings together eight paintings by Hodgkin and four by Caulfield including several preparatory drawings on public display for the first time ever.

From their first encounter in the early 1960s, Caulfield and Hodgkin formed a close friendship that would endure for decades. Like the bond between Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach, their mutual respect was anchored in a shared sensibility, world outlook and unwavering dedication to their work. Hodgkin acknowledged that it was ‘the closest I ever came to having a painter-colleague’. In Caulfield he found an artist who similarly recognised how ‘the past and present join together’, and although stylistically the two could not have been more different, they shared an interest in painting the seemingly unremarkable aspects of modern life.

Caulfield used Hodgkin’s living room as a studio for a brief period in the 60s and the pair consequently spent valuable time together during these formative years. Their high regard for one another, both in a personal and professional sense, contributed to their development as artists. Caulfield appears in three of Hodgkin’s paintings: Mr and Mrs Patrick Caulfield (1967-70), Patrick Caulfield in Italy (1987-92), and Patrick in Italy (1991-93), each a vivid record of time spent together both at home in England or on holidays abroad. Both artists owned work by one another; notably, Sweet Bowl (1966) and Patio (1988) by Caulfield were among the few works by a contemporary which hung in Hodgkin’s home.

This exhibition reveals how memory and a sense of nostalgia pervade both artist’s work in different ways. Caulfield turned to a rigorously figurative approach, using precise line and tempered hues to elevate the quotidian into the iconic. He focused more on detail, silhouette and design, while Hodgkin dwelt on the way in which people, objects and events made him feel, transforming his recollections of the past into gestural, emotive compositions in sumptuous colour.

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