Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017)

Rhode Island

Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017)
Rhode Island
signed, titled and dated twice 'Howard Hodgkin 2000 2002 RHODE ISLAND Howard Hodgkin RHODE ISLAND 2000 2002' (on the reverse)
oil on wood
79 7/8 x 105 1/8in. (203 x 267cm.)
Executed in 2000-2002
Gagosian Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2015.
M. Price (ed.), Howard Hodgkin: The Complete Paintings, London 2006, p. 361, no. 391 (illustrated in colour, p. 360).
Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Howard Hodgkin: Large Paintings, 1984-2002, 2002, p. 68, no. 20 (illustrated in colour, p. 69).
New York, Gagosian Gallery, Howard Hodgkin Paintings, 2003-2004, p. 44 (illustrated in colour, p. 45). This exhibition later travelled to Los Angeles, Gagosian Gallery.
Berlin, Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Howard Hodgkin Paintings, 2004 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Howard Hodgkin Paintings Retrospective, 2006-2007, pp. 54, 190 and 221, pl. 58 (illustrated in colour, pp. 146 and 147). This exhibition later travelled to London, Tate Britain and Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
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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. These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime.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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Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord

Lot Essay

With its vivid panorama of colour and texture spanning more than four square metres, Rhode Island is a spectacular large-scale work by Howard Hodgkin. Painted over a two-year period between 2000 and 2002, the work was unveiled at the artist’s 70th birthday exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art shortly after its completion, and subsequently featured in his major touring retrospective in 2006. Affirming Hodgkin’s status as one of the great colourists of his generation, it contrasts bold, saturated hues with deep strains of black, articulated through a series of sweeping gestures that allow glimmers of light to peer through. ‘With its hellfire reds, its stanchion of hard black, and its leafy strewings at the base’, writes the critic Anthony Lane, ‘[Rhode Island] could well be the most opulent tribute ever paid to that state’ (A. Lane, ‘True Colours: Howard Hodgkin Returns to New York’, The New Yorker, 24 November 2003). The work belongs to a group of paintings whose titles evoke Hodgkin’s love affair with America. Having spent time with his aunt in Long Island as boy during the 1940s, he returned to the U. S. throughout his career, admiring its art, absorbing its landscapes and enjoying critical acclaim in its galleries and museums. Hodgkin was particularly buoyed by passionate reaction of American audiences to his works, whose carefully-wrought surfaces sought to distil personal feelings and experiences into paint. In the fiery depths of Rhode Island – alive with the glow of an untold memory – this ambition is made plain.

‘I am a representational painter, but not a painter of appearances’, asserted Hodgkin. ‘I paint representational pictures of emotional states’ (H. Hodgkin, quoted in E. Juncosa (ed.), Writers on Howard Hodgkin, London 2006, p. 104). Working slowly and thoughtfully over long periods of time, the artist sought visual expression for sensations buried deep in his psyche. America – the subject of the artist’s very first documented painting in 1948 – played a central role in the development of this approach. As a child, evacuated from England during the war, he saw works by Picasso and Matisse hanging in the halls of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. During the 1950s, he was entranced by major exhibitions of Abstract Expressionist painting that toured to London, enthusing that ‘the New York school … taught us that more is more’. Absorbing these influences into his own idiom, Hodgkin made his solo debut in America in 1973 to rapturous acclaim. ‘They realised at once what sort of artist I was’, he explained; ‘the reaction was such that I felt I was communicating with an audience’ (H. Hodgkin, quoted at [accessed 16 January 2020]). By the time of the artist’s major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art towards the end of the millennium, his practice had evolved, growing looser in gesture and grander in scale. Gone were the thick, heavy borders of his earlier works, replaced by fluid, expansive surfaces that seemed to relinquish some of their closed interiority. In Rhode Island, certainly, ‘more is more’; Hodgkin’s admiration for his transatlantic peers had come full circle.

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