Famous British Painter Sir Gordon Hodgkin passed away at 84
Painter Sir Howard Hodgkin died on March 9, 2017 at the age of 84, in a hospital in London, only a few days before the exhibition that the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in the British capital devoted to him until June 18. The artist was known for his expressive canvases made with large brush strokes. Works that had connected him with the expressionist current.
Born in Hammersmith on August 6, 1932, Sir Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin is one of "the greatest colourists of his generation," in the words of Nicholas Serota, former director of the Tate. Between 1949 and 1954, he began artistic studies in London and then Bath, approaching the aesthetic tendencies of the late nineteenth century initiated by Édouard Vuillard and the Symbolists. From abstract to expressionist, Sir Howard Hodgkin distinguished himself by his marine landscapes and his interiors with blurry and shapeless contours highlighted in brilliant colors.
The first painted exhibition of Sir Howard Hodgkin in colour dates from 1962. His first retrospective took place at the Museum of Modern Art of Oxford in 1976; it was the work of a certain Nicholas Serota who was to become the great man of the Tate during 28 years. But it was above all from the exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, alongside the late Anthony Caro, an abstract sculptor and gentleman of art, the pop painter Patrick Caulfield and the abstract painter and engraver Ben Nicholson, whom he met his audience.
In 1984 Sir Howard Hodgkin represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale and won the 2nd Turner Prize with his painting “A Small Thing But My Own”. The following year, he was in front of sculptor Tony Cragg. His large exhibition Paintings 1975-1995 travelled in 1995 from Met of New York to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas, made a detour by Germany to return to the Hayward Gallery of London in 1996. Since then, the compositions of this Matisse English, ennobled in 1992, represented by the all powerful Gagosian Gallery, have never stopped travelling from Ireland to Spain, from the Netherlands to California, from Madrid to Mumbai. “The place where I am does not affect my painting. Perhaps only interferes with the sense of freedom that I enjoy in a given place and that gives me the space I need. I'm always me, the same boring me (laughs). What makes me happy is a painting that happens to satisfy me”, he told.
At an exhibition last year, Sir Howard Hodgkin told reporters, in his sweet voice: "I am a painter of representation, but not a painter of appearances. I paint images that represent moments of emotion ".
NPG’s Curator Paul Moorhouse was informed of the sad news thirty minutes before they began hanging the works paid a poignant tribute. “You can’t imagine how that was. It is a personal loss and it is a great loss to the art world.” Sir Howard Hodgkin’s other exhibition was due at the Hepworth Wakefield in June. Gallery’s director, Simon Wallis is shattered. “He had been incredibly generous and the last six works in the show are the last six paintings he had made in India and we were looking forward to Sir Howard Hodgkin being there and seeing the show which explores the influence of India on the painter’s work.
The date of the funeral of Sir Howard Hodgkin, who was made a Companion of Honour in the 2003 New Year Honours for his services to art, has not been announced yet.