HOWARD HODGKIN (1932-2017)
HOWARD HODGKIN (1932-2017)
HOWARD HODGKIN (1932-2017)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION
HOWARD HODGKIN (1932-2017)

Scotland

Details
HOWARD HODGKIN (1932-2017)
Scotland
signed twice, titled and dated 'SCOTLAND Howard Hodgkin 1994-1995 Howard Hodgkin' (on the reverse)
oil on wood
20 3/4 x 23 3/8in. (52.6 x 59.5cm.)
Executed in 1994-1995
Provenance
Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1995.
Literature
M. Price (ed.), Howard Hodgkin Paintings, London 1995, no. 279 (illustrated in colour, p. 135; illustrated, p. 200).
E. Planca, ‘Una tazza di caffè, e Hodgkin racconta’, in Arte, no. 289, September 1997 (detail illustrated in colour, pp. 80-81).
M. Price (ed.), Howard Hodgkin: The Complete Paintings, Catalogue Raisonné, London 2006, no. 279 (illustrated in colour, p. 286).
Exhibited
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Howard Hodgkin: Paintings, 1975-1995, 1995-1996. This exhibition later travelled to Fort Worth, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and Dusseldorf, Kunstverein für die Rheinland und Westfalen.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Claudia Schürch
Claudia Schürch Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Exhibited in Howard Hodgkin’s major touring retrospective between 1995 and 1996, and not shown in public since, Scotland is a remarkable example of the artist’s intimate chromatic visions. Composed of jewel-like greens and bright crimson with a shot of orange, the paint surges onto the frame, which seems to contain a transient moment from the outside world. Painted between 1994 and 1995, the work captures Hodgkin’s growing confidence in his artistic output at this time: the previous decade had seen his inclusion in the Venice Biennale and his receipt of the Turner Prize, followed by a knighthood in 1992. From 1990 onwards, he painted more freely and fluently and with increasing boldness, while revisiting paintings of seemingly fleeting moments—such as a night on the Nile or a rain shower in Venice—over periods of months or years. With the picture’s frame as its stage, Scotland presents a small, self-contained world, which Hodgkin beckons the viewer to observe.

Scotland played a recurring role across Hodgkin’s career: the artist spent time travelling in the country, and in 1990 the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art had hosted the major touring exhibition Howard Hodgkin: Small Paintings. Moreover, whilst Hodgkin looked at the works of great modern masters such as Matisse, Vuillard, Rothko and Pollock, the intensity of feeling and the beauty of colour in his paintings seem to conjure the Scottish colourists, particularly the vibrant landscapes of Peploe and the saturated tones of Cadell. In spite of this, Hodgkin took a strongly independent path, developing a unique and distinct style in his paintings.

The title of the present work also aligns itself with Hodgkin’s preoccupation with places. In 1940, an eight-year-old Hodgkin fled from London to Long Island, New York, with his family in the midst of the Second World War. This experience of migration bled into Hodgkin’s oeuvre. His work is grounded in a fascination with location—most notably expressed in his enduring love of India and Venice. In Scotland, Hodgkin captures the essence of a place without utilising figuration. The artist aptly described himself as a ‘representational painter, but not a painter of appearances. I paint representational pictures of emotional situations’ (H. Hodgkin, quoted in A. Graham Dixon, Howard Hodgkin, London 1994, p. 7).

Robert Rosenblum remarked that Hodgkin’s art ‘offers an unfamiliar, but unforgettable marriage of the abstract and the earthbound, of rhapsodic visual pleasures and quiet memories of a life outside the studio walls’ (R. Rosenblum, Howard Hodgkin, Large Paintings, 1984-2002, exh. cat. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh 2002). The ambiguity of Scotland’s composition—a flash of paint here and an impastoed brushstroke there—invites us to delve into our own experiences and memories. As Richard Calvocoressi has written of Hodgkin’s small paintings, the artist ultimately strives ‘to make a window … into which the viewer can look’ (R. Calvocoressi, ibid.).

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