Howard Hodgkin’s “Last Paintings” at Gagosian, London | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Howard Hodgkin’s “Last Paintings” at Gagosian, London

“Over to You,” 2015-2017, by Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017, London), OIl on wood, 9 3/4 x 12 3/8 inches, © Howard Hodgkin Estate, Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates, Gagosian London
(Courtesy: Gagosian)

Gagosian, per the artist’s wishes, presents Howard Hodgkin’s final six paintings at its Grosvenor Hill gallery. Five of the Turner Prize winning artist’s final six works have never been exhibited before, since they were created in India shortly before his death. “Last Paintings” will be on view in London until July 28, 2018.

As one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary painters, Hodgkin’s works were composed of powerful, expressive paintings that, while nominally abstract, capture complicated realities. “Last Paintings,” presented at the Grosvenor Hill gallery in accordance with the late artist’s wishes, includes the artist’s final six paintings completed in India before his death in March 2017. Five of these paintings will be on view for the first time and the exhibition will also feature more than 20 works never-before-seen in Europe.

Hodgkin renounced working on canvas in 1972 showing his preference for wooden panels and frames, some new and others sourced secondhand in India and Europe. The grain of the wood and the scars and scratches of the supports became integral to the paintings, affirming their physical presence and heft. “Last Paintings” attests to the immediacy of Hodgkin’s methods, as well as his intuitive understanding of the relationship between hand, eye and memory, according to the gallery.

“Toward the end of his life, Hodgkin applied fewer layers of paint to his panels, leaving more of the wooden support exposed, in visible dialogue with the paint. ‘Now’ (2015–16) embodies an interchange between light and dark, time and feeling, where the natural streaks of the wood are left bare,” says the gallery.

The gallery further adds that his final large-scale painting, “Portrait of the Artist Listening to Music” (2011–16), previously seen only in his solo exhibition “Absent Friends” at the National Portrait Gallery (London, 2017), exemplifies his focus on the intangibility of thoughts, feelings, and fleeting private moments. The layered greens and yellows of “Don’t Tell a Soul” (2016) seem to evoke an explicit recollection or excitation in rapid brushstrokes applied to the lower right corner of the support.

Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932, and died there in 2017.

The exhibition is on view through July 28, 2018 at Gagosian, 20 Grosvenor Hill, London- W1K 3QD, UK.

For details, visit:

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.                                                                   

Founder: Louise Blouin