Charlotte Burns profiles painter Howard Hodgkin on the occasion of his exhibition From Memory at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through June 18, 2016.
Burns writes: "Hodgkin famously paints up to the very edge of the painting, often covering the frame. It is a form of control, making sure that the object’s completeness cannot be interrupted by a frame placed around it by somebody else. For similar reasons, he paints on board instead of canvas: 'A firm surface won’t answer back. It just remains there, and that’s very important to have. So much of my working isn’t fixed, so it’s wonderful that this is fixed, it’s firm; there it is. I’ve always thought that the first thing that painting should be is a thing – paintings should be like objects that exist firmly.' Why is that so important – because everything else is so fleeting? 'Probably, yes. They have to be complete in themselves.'"
Jackie Wullschlager reviews an exhibition of paintings by Howard Hodgkin at Gagosian Gallery, Paris, on view through August 9, 2014.
Wullschlager writes: "Working within what he calls 'the classical wall of feeling that Degas has built for us', Hodgkin describes his paintings, which look mostly abstract, as 'representational pictures of emotional situations'. His current late style tempers rapture with restraint: this year’s 'From the Head of the Bed', for example, reprises the pinks and turquoises of 'Interior', simplifies its figural suggestions into horizontal slashes, and, in daringly extending its play-off between density of colour and patches of bare wood, suggests more eloquently then ever the fragmentary, elusory character of memory and desire... In their evasiveness, such works bring to mind Vuillard, and in their uneasy introspection Bonnard: a brilliant yellow/black snake-like form, streaking, rising, falling across grey, in another new painting, 'Disturbed Night' (2013-14), is as cogent a distillation of broken sleep and fractious, fractured, sexy dreams as any in modern art."
After a visit to the artist's studio, John-Paul Stonard muses on several recent works by Howard Hodgkin.
Considering the painting The Sea, Goa (2013), Stonard writes: "Measuring barely a foot across, it seems at first glance to consist of nothing more than three horizontal stripes of scarlet red and cobalt blue, stacked at the bottom of the panel, in landscape orientation... The picture recalls an experience, someone close to Hodgkin told me, of sitting last year on a terrace looking out onto the beach at Goa as the sun set... It stops you in your tracks to see the precision and economy with which the experience has been translated into a combination of coloured pigments, suspended in oil, brushed in three gestures onto an old piece of wood... Like many of Hodgkin’s works The Sea, Goa is a relic of a moment."
Kleeblatt notes: "As a source for modern and contemporary artists, Vuillard has hardly seemed a match for Cézanne, Picasso, and Duchamp. But conversations with [Lisa] Yuskavage led me to reconsider a host of postwar and 21st-century artists whose works are clearly in Vuillard’s debt."
Jennifer Samet reviews the exhibition Howard Hodgkin on view at Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue through December 23, 2011.
Samet writes: "Hodgkin moves in and unapologetically overtakes minute spaces of art history, turning them inside-out into complete paintings. He recalled that early in his career, a writer described his paintings as a 'brutalization of intimisme.' Hodgkin admits he has been a 'fanatical admirer' of Edouard Vuillard, and one can see the marks and surfaces of Vuillard in close-up examination in Hodgkin's paintings."
Sharon Butler blogs about Howard Hodgkin, whose work is on view in the exhibition Howard Hodgkin, Time and Place, through May 1, 2011 at the San Diego Museum of Art. The post includes two videos of Hodgkin discussing his work "including 'After Ellsworth Kelly,' a painting Hodgkin calls 'a fan letter' to Ellsworth Kelly."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.