Howard Hodgkin Signed Prints & Originals

Biography for Howard Hodgkin (Born 1932)

Sir Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932. Howard Hodgkin's reputation as one of the finest colourists in contemporary art and his standing in the art world is beyond doubt. Howard Hodgkin has been a Trustee of the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery and in 1985 won the Turner Prize. He was knighted in 1992.

Howard Hodgkin is by temperament a painter. An account of Howard Hodgkin's unusual achievement as a printmaker needs to begin with a description of his painting.

Since the 1960s Howard Hodgkin has painted on supports of wood instead of canvas. Howard Hodgkin's application of paint to wood is boldly assertive. Howard Hodgkin's characteristic repertoire of marks; Stippled dots marshalled into loose grids, splotches, enlarged commas and fatly modelled cylinders appear to the viewer to have been laid down with exceptional spontaneity, but in fact have been applied in layers over a long period of time. Howard Hodgkin's method of painting so that successive layers of paint deposits are left conspicuous (whether to serve an illusion of depth, or to function as a metaphor for the personal memories that inform the paintings, or to make the surface vivid) seems in one sense utterly compatible with the nature of intaglio and planographic printing. The etchings and lithographs that dominate Howard Hodgkin's prints are produced in successive layers. Howard Hodgkin has for a long time thought like a printmaker. Given his approach to painting, layers come naturally to him.

Printmaking became an integral part of Howard Hodgkin's artistic activity once he began making prints in 1953, four years after he started to paint. Since 1953 Howard Hodgkin has published 117 prints, 11 limited edition prints and has illustrated two books.

Howard Hodgkin's prints are more light-hearted than his paintings. Some are based on memories; others are simply representations of objects or places, between 1977 and 1986, the prints revealed a stronger emotional involment without ever becoming as intense as his paintings. Their subject matter also evolved around encounters in an interior. Between 1986 and 1991, the gap between the two media temporarily widened. The prints produced during those years are visual records, depictions of physical reality, instead of evocations of mood and sensations, as the paintings are. These prints, which are often large in size, represent objects such as palm trees, a mango, a moon, or a door. In these large prints Howard Hodgkin has tried to imitate posters that he saw in Paris in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Howard Hodgkin's first print cannot be traced. Howard Hodgkin's second print; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Enter Laughing'. Published in 1964 for the ICA Screen-print project it was followed in 1966 with Howard Hodgkin's first series of lithographs called '5 Rooms'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Interior with Figure'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Girl at Night'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian Room'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Bedroom'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Girl on a sofa'. Howard Hodgkin experimented with the splatter technique, over-printing colours, and contrasts between flat, evenly coloured areas and grainy, chalky effects. In each print he has tried to achieve certain autonomy of form.

Howard Hodgkin's first screen print was published in 1966; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Figure Composition'. Howard Hodgkin deemed it an unsuccessful experiment.

However, in 1971 after a trip to India, Howard Hodgkin produced a series of Twelve screen prints; 'Indian Views'. Recollections of exterior scenes of India glimpsed through the small windows of a moving train. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View A'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View B'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View C'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View D'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View E'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View F'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View G'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View H'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View I'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View J'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View K'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian View L'. The views of horizon, fields, mountains, skies and different times of the day are enclosed by the very wide borders which work like frames of a window and intensify the key-hole character of the views. The frame, introduced in 'Indian Views' became an important formal device for most of Howard Hodgkin's future prints. In the intaglios and lithographs of the late 1970s and early to middle 1980s the emphatic frame-like elements, sometime created by hand colouring, frequently help to establish a window-like view into interior scenes. It is interesting that often these painted or printed 'frames' do not extend to the edges of the printed sheets but are set some distance inside the periphery.

In 1971 Howard Hodgkin contributed a lithograph to the portfolio 'Europaische Grapik VII', which was dedicated to British artists. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Composiotn with Red'. It is roughly based on a medieval Indian arch seen in India. This was closely followed by Howard Hodgkin's first attempts at aquatints; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Interior (Day). Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Interior (Night). Re-worked over several months; these aquatints are the first pair of prints Howard Hodgkin produced. A few years later Howard Hodgkin decided they should be hand coloured and given new titles; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Bed' and Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Breakfast'.

In 1976 Howard Hodgkin did two more print projects, publishing 'More Indian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Sky' from 'More Indian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Sun' from 'More Indian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Window' from 'More Indian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Shutter' from 'More Indian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Palm' from 'More Indian Views'. These prints are a continuation of 'Indian Views', albeit much smaller and conceived as lithographs. These prints have a rather more glossy build up of colours, producing an effect very much like screen printing.

Other prints made in 1976 include; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'After Luke Howard' from 'For John Constable'. To celebrate the bi-centenary of John Constable's birth.

Howard Hodgkin's prints executed between 1977 and 1986 show an increase in emotional content and intensity which render them more complex and suggestive, an increased richness and surface texture - mainly due to the application of gouache or watercolour by hand, but also to the more tonal techniques of aquatint and soft-ground etching with its chalk-like lines. These changes are in part due to Howard Hodgkin becoming severely ill with a life threatening illness at this time and perhaps more significantly due to his 'coming out'. Which had a liberating effect on his work, not only in content, but also in style.

The first print executed at this time was; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Julian and Alexis'. It was the largest print he had produced so far and was finished by adding three rectangular blocks of green gouache by hand. Followed by; Howard Hodgkin print, signed 'Nick'; which initiated another phase in Howard Hodgkin's carer as a graphic artist. Howard Hodgkin was introduced to the technique of soft-ground etching with sugar lift and aquatint, a perfect technique for Howard Hodgkin because it was so immediate.

Following a visit to Oklahoma in 1977 seven prints were made; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'A Furnished Room', Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Jarid's Porch'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Nick's Room'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'A Storm'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Crado's Bar' (Black) Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Cardo's Bar' (Red). Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Here we are in Croydon'. They were all based on the trip but vary in style, motif and size.

The most graphic of Howard Hodgkin's prints came in 1979 with; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Thinking Aloud in the Museum of Modern Art'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'All Alone in the Museum of Modern of Art'. The fact that Howard Hodgkin felt more in control of his printmaking can be seen in the use of fingerprints in the two versions of 'Crado's Bar' and in these two soft-ground etchings where Howard Hodgkin used the imprints of his entire hand to make marks. The other pair in this series is; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Late Afternoon in the Museum of Modern Art'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Early Evening in the Museum of Modern Art'.

In 1980 a group of soft-ground etchings 'Artist and Model' were produced, identical images, but for their variant of colour; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Artist and Model'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Artist and Model' (in green and yellow). 'Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Those….Plants'.

Howard Hodgkin's first print similar in size to his paintings was; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'For Bernard Jacobson'. It was his most ambitious and elaborate print till that point and displays a tendency towards a greater painterliness and lushness, which is also evident in; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'David's Pool'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'David's Pool at Night'. These are among Howard Hodgkin's best prints. They look deceptively simple, but took a considerable time to make. Along with; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'DH in Hollywood' were etched over in Paris with Picassos printers; Crommelynck studio. They are based on a trip to his friend David Hockney in Los Angeles.

The 1980s were the decade of prints with paired sheets, the majority of which were rather large in size. Through variable inking and colouring Howard Hodgkin explored the duplication of identical images and extended the reach of the image. The prints, one of which was usually made in colour, the other in monochrome, were not interdependent, they just explore alternative moods. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Moonlight'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Black Moonlight'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Bleeding'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Mourning'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Sand'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Blood'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Red Palm'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Black Palm'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Monsoon'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Black Monsoon'. All are experiments in colour and mood. The coloured version often preceded the monochrome version.

Mood and intense feeling are very much in evidence in; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Red Eye' which refers to a terrible hangover.

Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'One Down' and Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Two to Go'; are the only pair of prints made in the 1980s of which both images were in monochrome only. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Souvenir' Appears as a monochrome but was intended to be printed in a coloured version, but this version never materialised. 'Souvenir' was also the last print in which man, at least in a naturalistic form, appears.

In 1983 Howard Hodgkin was asked by Andy Warhol to contribute to the official art portfolio of the Olympic games, (Sarajevo 1984); Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Welcome'.

Howard Hodgkin is widely praised for his sense of colour; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Birthday Party'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'You and Me'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'After Lunch'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Alexander Street'.

1986 can be seen as the start of a mature phase in Howard Hodgkin's carer as a graphic artist. A change in technique, style, and choice of motif is noticeable. These changes are linked directly to working with new printer, Jack Shirreff, who introduced Howard Hodgkin to new printing media. Howard Hodgkin was shown how to use carborundum with lift-ground etching and aquatint. The use of carborundum involves applying lumps of sticky paste to an aluminium plate. This can be done with a brush or hand. It is a simple and direct method which Howard Hodgkin describes as 'marvellously liberating'. The carborundum, when dried, retains the ink wiped onto it and embosses the paper. It gives the paper a lively, tactile surface texture.

Howard Hodgkin began to produce prints that were depictions of physical reality. They were printed on large sheets of paper inspired by posters. Howard Hodgkin wanted to produce prints 'as brutally direct as a rubber stamp'. They were simply representations of objects; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Moon'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Mango'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Flowering Palm'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Moroccan'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Window'.

The first group of Prints Howard Hodgkin made with Jack Shirreff was the group of interiors; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Green Room'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Blue Listening Ear'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Listening Ear'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Red Listening Ear'. These prints exude an almost sculptural quality because of the rich surface texture achieved with carborundum.

Howard Hodgkin's prints made after 1986 were increasingly flattened into simple shapes created by volumes or broader brushstrokes. Howard Hodgkin worked towards a painterly effect rather than a graphic or linear one. This change of style was carried through to; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Monsoon'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Black Monsoon'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Red Palm'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Black Palm'.

Howard Hodgkin's fascination with large travel posters, seen in the metro in Paris in the late 1950s or early 1960s is expressed in a series of four large intaglio prints made with carborundum between 1990 and 1991. They are huge, bright, spontaneous and straightforward. Howard Hodgkin print, signed 'Night Palm'. Howard Hodgkin print, signed 'Street Palm'. Howard Hodgkin print, signed 'Palm and Window'. Howard Hodgkin print, signed 'Flowering Palm'.

Howard Hodgkin went on to achieve a similar immediacy, spontaneity and directness in; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Put Out More Flags'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed, 'Red Print'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Snow'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian Tree'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'In an Empty Room'.

From 1996 hand colouring became increasingly important to Howard Hodgkin and often formed the central motif of the print. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Indian Tree'. In this print the entire back ground is hand coloured.

The brush stroke itself, the gestural mark, dominates the prints from the mid 1990s. As shown in; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Summer'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Books for the Paris Review'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'In a Public Garden'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Norwich'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Red Print'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Window'.

Howard Hodgkin's prints executed in the 1990s were often made in connection with illustrations to a text. 'The Way We Live Now' set of prints are a story about the reactions of a group of people in New York to a friend who is dying of AIDS. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Fear Gives Everything its Hue, it's High'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'In Touch'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'As You'd Wont-Wantonly Wantonly'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'But He Did Stop Smoking he didn't miss Cigarettes at all'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'The hospital Room was Choked with Flowers Everybody Likes Flowers Surplus Flowers The Room…..was Filling up with Flowers'. A personal remembrance of a brother killed during the First World War is the set of prints 'Evermore'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Front and end papers'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Frontispiece'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Untitled (black crosses) Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Untitled (blood spots). Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Untitled (Morris car). Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Untitled (landscape).

In 1995 Howard Hodgkin produced a very elaborate set of prints, 'Venetian Views'. The interplay between printed and painted marks is so intricate that it obscures what is painted or not. All four views breathe luminosity, timelessness and have the seductiveness and saturation of richly worked images. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Venice, Morning, from Venetian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Venice, Afternoon, from Venetian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Venice, Evening, from Venetian Views'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Venice, Night, from Venetian Views'.

In the summer of 2000 Howard Hodgkin started working on the huge set of etchings 'Into the Woods'. They are the most monumental set of prints Howard Hodgkin ever made, printed to the size of murals; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Into the woods, Spring, from 'Into the Woods'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Into the woods, Summer, from 'Into the Woods'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Into the woods, Autumn, from 'Into the Woods'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Into the woods, Winter, from 'Into the Woods'. Howard Hodgkin made another gigantic print in 2009, it was six meters long; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'As Time Goes By'.

A set of nine small-format etchings were also done at this time; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'You Again'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Rain'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Dawn'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Tears, Idle Tears'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Away'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Strictly Personal'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Cigarette'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Home'. Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Seafood'. And a medium-sized etching; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Frost'. Another representational print done at this time is; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Eye'.

Recently Howard Hodgkin made a print for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Turkish Delight'. For the Whitechapel Gallery fundraiser; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Sunset'. For his printmaker Jack Shirreff; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'For Jack'. And to accompany the book 'Howard Hodgkin Prints a catalogue raisonne'; Howard Hodgkin, print, signed 'Sea'.

Howard Hodgkin's prints, with their spontaneity and straightforwardness continue to evoke a strong response. This was possible by using techniques such as carborundum, lift-ground etching or aquatint, always in combination with hand colouring. Being at heart a painter, Howard Hodgkin has found a printing media that enables him to achieve a strong response to his prints which is similar to the one he strives for in his paintings.

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