Howard Hodgkin is one of the leading lights in contemporary British art.
He is best known for his abstract blocks of colour. Hodgkin mounted an exhibition of limited editions of his works in Ormeau Baths Belfast, in the past five years. IMMA, in Dublin treated his large retrospective with such seriousness that management painted the walls in accordance with the artist’s wishes. In fact I have said this a number of times, an exhibition of small oils by Hodgkin in the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College Dublin was one of the best collections by any living artist in that city that I have seen. Hodgkin and William Crozier, a Taylor Gallery artist in Dublin, were fellow teachers at one stage in a South of England school. I met Mr Hodgkin twice and he was either very shy or found myself and others who approached him of limited interest. That said, I love what he does with colour.
He raises my spirits. Northern Ireland painter Neil Shawcross is a huge admirer of Howard Hodgkin. The painting below ‘Patrick Caulfield in Italy’ 1987-92 is a riot of colour invoking the name of the late Caulfield who was probably the best ‘pop artist’ in the United Kingdom of his generation. I hope you too enjoy my choice.