01 02
Untitled, 1991 (detail). Acid dyes on silk. 50 x 50 inches (127 x 127 cm). Edition of 50. Untitled, 1991. Acid dyes on silk. 50 x 50 inches (127 x 127 cm). Edition of 50.
Untitled, 1991 (detail). Acid dyes on silk. 50 x 50 inches (127 x 127 cm). Edition of 50.
Untitled, 1991. Acid dyes on silk. 50 x 50 inches (127 x 127 cm). Edition of 50.

Howard Hodgkin

Howard Hodgkin participated in a residency at FWM in 1991. He painted a brightlycolored watercolor on rag paper, which served as the basis for a silkscreen printed scarf, made with acid dyes on silk. Hodgkin’s abstract design involves distinct swatches of saturated blue and gold, covered with a web of overlapping and clustering lines of bright red. The plane of the red also covers and extends beyond a painted black border, reminiscent of Hodgkin’s style of painting over frames, which gives a sense of protection to the interior of the piece. There is ambiguity in the surface and depth of the watercolor, as in the final silkscreen print. Each color of the artist’s original watercolor was separated and made into its own silkscreen, coming together only in the final print when all colors were layered to recreate the original design. As a scarf, the dramatic gesture of Hodgkin’s watercolor is further accentuated by the printed version’s soft fold and drape when worn on the body.
While Hodgkin is often labeled an abstract painter, he has countered this idea, saying: “I am a representational painter, but not a painter of appearances. I paint representational pictures of emotional situations” (Howard Hodgkin, Thames and Hudson, London, and Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1994). The specific references in Hodgkin’s work are left to the imagination of the viewer to determine, and paintings are often based on the artist’s memory or experience of a place or a person. He describes the process of painting:
I start out with the subject and naturally I have to remember first of all what it looked like, but it would also perhaps contain a great deal of feeling and sentiment. All of that has got to be somehow transmuted, transformed, or made into a physical object and when that happens, when that’s finally been done, when the last physical marks have been put on and the subject comes back—then the picture’s finished and there is no question of doing anything more to it. (Howard Hodgkin: Forty Paintings: 1973–84, George Braziller, Inc., New York, in association with the Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1984)

British, 1932–2017
Howard Hodgkin attended the Camberwell School of Art, London, from 1949 to 1950, and the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, from 1950 to 1954. One of the most prominent British artists of the postwar era, Hodgkin’s paintings and prints have been exhibited steadily in England and around the world since his first one-person show in 1962 at Arthur Tooth and Sons in London. In 1995, a major exhibition of Hodgkin’s painting was organized by the Museum of Modern Art of Fort Worth, Texas, and the tour extended to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Kunstverein für die Reinlande und Westfalen in Dusseldorf. A major exhibition of his prints was organized and shown at the Tate Gallery in London in 1985. Hodgkin was invited to represent his country at the 1984 Venice Biennale, and the selection of forty paintings eventually toured to venues in the United States and Europe, including the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Among Hodgkin’s honors is his 1992 Knighthood, and the Turner Prize, awarded by the Tate Gallery, London, in 1985.