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Howard Hodgkin's work, at first, appears daringly simple. Yet those splurges, slicks and virulent marks are the results of a master manipulator, who goads and entreats the paint into doing his bidding. Hodgkin has always sought to represent personal encounters, emotional experiences and memories of the places he has visited. As a young artist he made portraits of friends and fellow artists, and a personal style evolved slowly, becoming, in time, a heat-sealed concentration of image, idea and form. Applied to the conversation pieces he has often painted, talk, setting and personality coalesce and re-emerge in purely pictorial form. Some of Hodgkin's style can be traced to his great love of India, a country he not only knows well, but whose art has influenced his own: his interest in non-Western perspective, for example, which gives equal weight and focus to all parts of the picture; the brightness and density of colour; the border and pattern being on equal terms with the subject-matter.
oil on wood
H 92.7 x W 118.1 cm
purchased from Knoedler Gallery, 1981