“1937: At the age of 5 Hodgkin determines to become a painter.” A timeline of notable events in the artist’s life and career.
British Council tours 27 ‘Small Paintings’ to the Musée des Beaux Arts, Nantes; Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin. Henry-Claude Cousseau writes in the catalogue.
Shows 14 new paintings at Michael Werner’s gallery, Cologne, Germany and at Knoedler’s, New York, including Rain and Venice in the Autumn. Wilfried Dickhoff and Timothy Hyman write in the catalogues.
Makes a poster for the London Underground of Highgate Ponds.
Makes Ivy, a large, oval intaglio print at 107 Workshop, Wiltshire. It was commissioned by Chris Corbyn and Jeremy King for their new restaurant, The Ivy, where it hangs.
Creates hand-coloured engravings for Susan Sontag’s story ‘The Way We Live Now’ (first printed in the New Yorker, 1986), that are published by Karsten Schubert and in facsimile by Jonathan Cape. Proceeds go to Aids charities in Britain and America.
Designs a silk scarf for Marion Boulton Stroud’s Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shown there in ‘New Dimensions: Artists Design Scarves’, 26 November 26, 1991 – January 4, 1992, curated by Dilys Blum, Philadelphia Museum of Art Curator of Costume and Textiles.
Indian Paintings and Drawings from Hodgkin’s collection opens at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. and tours to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Rietberg Museum, Zurich; the British Museum, London and the Museo del Castelvecchio, Verona. The catalogue includes essays by Andrew Topsfield and Milo Beach and Hodgkin’s ‘Notes on the collection’.
“For an artist there are certain elements of scale, form, and colour that are beyond verbal description. In Indian painting I have found much that for me could not be found anywhere else, but I cannot tell you what – I can only metaphorically wave my arms at the pictures – and say look!’ (From an article in Asian Art, IV, 4, 1991).
‘Seven Small Pictures’ opens at the British School in Rome.
‘Outing Art: the BBC Billboard Art Project’ (directed by Sheree Folkson, and shown on television during the week of 17 May) invites Hodgkin, along with Richard Hamilton, Damien Hirst, Michael Landy and others, to make billboard-sized art. He paints A Small Thing Enlarged.
Designs a mural for the front of the new British Council headquarters in New Delhi, architect Charles Correa. It evokes the shadows cast by a tree and is executed in black stone and white marble.
Makes Put Out More Flags, a print to benefit the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s Artists’ Fund.
To celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday Hodgkin flies to Cairo in order to travel down the Nile. He agrees to see in dawn at the pyramids but refuses to climb one. See Mud on the Nile, 1993.
First show at the Anthony D’Offay galleries, London, also seen at Knoedler’s, New York. 24 paintings include After Degas, Keith and Kathy Sachs, Lovers, Venice Sunset, Snapshot and Fisherman’s Cove. Catalogue includes a conversation with the artist: “I am happy for people to talk about my pictures, but I wish devoutly that I was not expected to talk about them myself.”
The catalogue also includes his choice of extracts from Julian Barnes, Susan Sontag, Stendhal, Anita Brookner, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, G.K.Chesterton, Bruce Chatwin, Evelyn Waugh and Horace Walpole: “’tis pity we ever imported from the continent ideas of summer: nature gave us coal mines in lieu of it, and beautiful verdure, which is inconsistent with it, so that an observation I made 40 years ago, is most true, that this country exhibits the most beautiful landscapes in the world when they are framed and glazed, that is, when you look at them through the window.”
The first monograph on Hodgkin’s work appears, written by Andrew Graham-Dixon. It includes 13 ‘Artist’s Statements’ and texts.
Anthony D’Offay hangs a new painting, After Morandi, for one evening in his house at 242 East 52nd Street, New York, designed by Philip Johnson.
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
1995 - 1996
38 works are featured in ‘Paintings 1975 – 1995’ at the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Kunstverein fur die Rheinlände und Westfalen, Düsseldorf and the Hayward Gallery, London. The catalogue features essays by Michael Auping and Susan Sontag, an exchange of letters with John Elderfield and a catalogue raisonnée by Marla Price.
At the Hayward Gallery Hodgkin has all the later, internal walls removed (for the first time since the building was opened) and the walls painted mailbag grey. David Sylvester installs the show and a credit appears on a wall panel, perhaps for the first time. The hand-list includes an essay by Bruce Bernard.
‘Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield and Howard Hodgkin: Paintings from the 60s and 70s’ opens at Waddington Galleries, London. Alison Jacques writes in the catalogue. Hodgkin’s Venice prints are hung in the Kunsthalle, Winterthur in a space shared with Anya Gallaccio, who garlands it with scarlet gerbera (365 Gerbera (chateau)). The curator Roman Kurzmeyer writes in the catalogue for ‘Where You Were Even Now’, “For me, the veiled or hidden depths in Hodgkin’s work present a promise, and their painted frames offer an embrace.”
Pictured: HH and Bhupen Khakar. Hodgkin and his friend, the Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003), in Bhupens house in Baroda, India, 1995.
Illustrates Julian Barnes’s short story ‘Evermore’, first printed in Cross Channel, with a series of hand coloured etchings, published by Palavan Press and in paperback by Penguin.
A.M.Homes interviews Hodgkin for Artforum.
Second South Bank Show directed by Melissa Raimes.
Awarded Shakespeare Prize by Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg. Predecessors include Graham Greene, Julian Barnes, Dame Janet Baker, David Hockney and Philip Larkin. Dr Raimund Stecker gives the Laudatio.
Shows 12 paintings at Galerie Lawrence Rubin, Zurich, Switzerland, including Haven’t We Met? Of Course We Have, In Coconut Grove, Stormy Weather and Alpine Snow. Catalogue includes an essay by Georg Imdahl.
Interviewed by William Feaver for ‘Mind’s Eye’, Hodgkin talks about Mondrian, Sickert, Liotard, Matisse and Degas.
Designs backcloths for Mark Morris Dance Group’s ‘Rhymes with Silver’.
First exhibition with Gagosian Gallery: shows 13 works at Madison Avenue gallery including Old Sky, Chez Max and Rain. Catalogue includes James Fenton’s poem ‘In Paris with You’, an extract from Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Alien Corn’ and Doris Lockhart Saatchi’s essay on Max Gordon.
New paintings at Haas & Fuchs Gallery, Berlin. Alan Woods writes in the catalogue.
Shows 22 paintings at Anthony D’Offay Gallery, London, including Night and Day and After Matisse. James Fenton writes in the catalogue.
Paints an image of an eye, which is enlarged photographically to cover the entire outside wall of the new circular Imax Cinema on Waterloo Roundabout, London. “There used to be a very large Howard Hodgkin mural wrapped around the Imax cinema in Waterloo, which gave a certain lift to the landscape.” (Thomas Sutcliffe, Independent, 30 March 2007). It was in place 1999-2006.
Paints an image for the Royal Mail, used on the 64p millennium stamp.
Awarded Honorary Doctorate by the University of Oxford.
Designs backcloth for Holst’s opera ‘Savitri’, staged in the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.