Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) For Edward 1984

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Lot 7AR
Howard Hodgkin
(1932-2017)
For Edward
1984

Sold for £ 87,562 (US$ 114,032) inc. premium
Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017)
For Edward
1984

debossed with the artist's initials and dated 1984
acrylic and gouache on card laid on cardboard in found frame

20 by 27.2 cm.
7 7/8 by 10 11/16 in.


Footnotes

  • A frontispiece cut from the exhibition catalogue Howard Hodgkin: Forty Paintings, 1973-1984, Whitechapel Gallery, London 1985, with a dedication written by the artist in pencil, "For Edward Love from Howard 1985", was found inside the frame of the picture, which was discovered posthumously. This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being compiled by The Estate of Howard Hodgkin.

    Provenance
    Private Collection, UK
    Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1995



    A work that was only recently re-discovered and is completely fresh to market after having remained almost entirely unseen since the artist gifted the painting to its namesake in 1985, For Edward is a veritable lost treasure, which will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné compiled by the artist's estate. It is amongst those rare paintings that embody the spirit of an artist at his zenith – negotiating scale, composition and colour with outstanding tact. With paintings residing in museums internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, this represents an opportunity to acquire a work of exceptional quality with unique provenance, by one of the most prominent and celebrated painters of the post-war period.

    Upon encountering Howard Hodgkin's paintings, the transcendent quality and extensive appeal of his style is palpable and evident. Mastering an orchestral sweep and dapple of the brush, Hodgkin's paintings are harmonic in their affect, and none quite so precisely composed as in the present work, For Edward, from 1984 – the same year Hodgkin stepped up to the international stage exhibiting in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, before he would go on to win the Turner Prize in 1985.

    Hodgkin's virtuosic brushwork is exquisite and hypnotizing, and the present work is a truly compelling and succinct example of the artist's talent as it translates into his expressive mark. Emerging from the Bath Academy of Art at Corsham in 1954 under the pupilage of William Scott, Hodgkin was an influence unto himself. Early inspiration came in The New American Painting exhibition of Abstract Expressionist artists at the Tate Gallery in 1959, and the significance of Rothko's planes of colour is never far. Yet he shunned the flatness of American Modernism, pushing the painting out of its frame and creating abstract depths of field that translate as windows onto a vivid and luscious landscape.

    As his close friend, the acclaimed writer Julian Barnes once wrote: 'H.H.'s paintings are not narratives. Mostly, they are memories. But it is not a case of emotion recollected in tranquility. Rather, it is emotion recollected in intensity. In that sense his pictures are operatic' (Julian Barnes, Keeping an Eye Open, London: Jonathan Cape, 2015, 260).

    Produced in a hugely important year for Hodgkin, For Edward is exemplary of the later period of his career that the artist was entering in the mid-1980s. As hasty as the paintings appear, he was in fact renowned for the meticulous and slow nature of his work, with many paintings taking years to complete. In For Edward, the refined brushwork and teeming chromatic scales of green and orange are a delight to behold at such an elegant scale, and wonderfully speak to the Hodgkin's lifelong appreciation for Indian art and culture.
Contacts
Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) For Edward 1984
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