Saturday, February 20, 2010

Howard Hodgkin

Apparently I'm out-of-touch with the British contemporary art scene. Last night I was watching a clip from Simon Schama's "Power of Art" series (don't hate me, heidenkind!), and Schama mentioned that the artist Howard Hodgkin is of Van Gogh's "progeny" (in terms of Expressionism).

I had to rewind the DVD - Howard who?

Howard Hodgkin. You know, one of the foremost British painters today. [Silence.]

So, in order to educate myself, I looked up some of Hodgkin's work this evening. Part of me wonders if I have seen his stuff before, since he has painted scenery for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Anyhow, here are some of Hodgkin's paintings that I particularly liked:

Howard Hodgkin, Night and Day, 1997-99
This painting was exhibited in 2006 with an exhibition of Hodgkin's work at the Tate Modern

Howard Hodgkin, Memories, 1997-99
You can read more about this painting here. I think it's particularly interesting that Hodgkin often paints his frames (in addition to the canvas). I think this can tie into interesting ideas about objecthood and subjecthood, particuarly since the frame is no longer "containing" or "highlighting" the painting - it is part of the painting itself.

Howard Hodgkin, Curtain, 2002-07
I like this painting because it makes me think, "What would happen if you combined a Rothko painting with Edward Munch's The Scream?" And I also like the bits of blue that peek out from underneath the black swath of color.

Have you heard of Hodgkin before? Which of his works do you particularly like?