15th February 2024

Patrick Caulfield and Howard Hodgkin: Painter-Colleagues | Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert

Patrick Caulfield and Howard Hodgkin: Painter-Colleagues | Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert
Egypt, 1993 - 1996, oil on wood, 95.9 x 115cm

Patrick Caulfield & Howard Hodgkin
21 February –12 April 2024
Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, 38 Bury Street, London SW1Y 6BB

 This exhibition at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert brings together paintings by the British artist Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) with work by his close friend Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017), dating from the 1960s to the 1990s. 

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 capturing 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 very few works by a contemporary which hung in Hodgkin’s home. 

This exhibition brings together paintings by Hodgkin and Caulfield which reveal 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 seemingly quotidian into the iconic. He focused more on detailing, silhouette and design, while Hodgkin dwelt on the way in which people, objects and events made him feel, transforming his own recollections of the past into gestural, highly emotive compositions using sumptuous colour. 

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