Howard Hodgkin - Indian Waves

HOWARD HODGKIN, Party, 1990–91, hand-painted gouache intaglio impressed Khadi paper, 27 1/4 x 36 inches (69.2 x 91.4 cm)

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Opening reception: Friday, November 28th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm


Gagosian London is pleased to present Indian Waves by Howard Hodgkin, some thirty gouaches inspired by India and hand-painted by Hodgkin in England between 1990 and 1991. These strongly evocative impressions of the exotic horizon so beloved by Hodgkin were forgotten for more than twenty years. Brought to light recently, their emotional immediacy and bright vigour is undiminished by time.

Hodgkin made the first of many trips to India in 1964 and a steady stream of paintings—from Coming Up From the Beach (1970–72) to The Sea, Goa (2013)—and works on paper—Indian Views (1971) and Indian Leaves (1982)—has ensued from the kaleidoscope of experiences it has offered him over time: personal encounters and visits to specific places; the seasons and times of day; and the more ineffable qualities of mood and emotion provoked by difference.

For the first stage of Indian Waves, Hodgkin employed the carborundum printing technique for the added physicality that it imparts to the surface of the paper ground, in readiness for the next stage of handpainting. Indian Waves is the only collection of pictures for which he also used handmade Indian Khadi paper that affords further expressive potential with its distinctive and random textures.

Beginning with the same foundation—a voluptuous blue wavy line that fills the lower half of each sheet with an arc of green above—Hodgkin himself worked concentratedly, painting over each one in successive bursts of intense focus using a vibrant palette of cadmium red and yellow, rose, orange, black, white, and Veronese green. Each of the resulting works has its own simple descriptive title linked to sensation, place or event—Mumbai Wedding, Border, Chowpatty Beach, Natural Phenomenon, Goanese, Party, Night Falls and so on—but together they form the opus Indian Waves, a sweeping tide of colour and gesture whose ebbs and flows are both optimistic and ominous.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a new essay by Shanay Jhaveri.

Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932. He attended Camberwell School of Art and the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. His first retrospective was curated by Nicholas Serota at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1976. Since then major museum exhibitions include “Paintings 1975–1995,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1995, traveled to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Kunstverein Düsseldorf; and Hayward Gallery, London); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006, traveled to Tate Britain, London; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid); “Paintings: 1992–2007,” Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2007, traveled to Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge); “Time and Place, 2001–2010,” Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (2010, traveled to De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; and San Diego Museum of Art); and “Howard Hodgkin,” Fondation Bemberg, Toulouse, France (2013).

Howard Hodgkin was knighted in 1992, awarded the Shakespeare Prize in Hamburg in 1997, and made a Companion of Honor in 2003. The artist lives and works in London, Normandy and Mumbai.

For further inquiries please contact the gallery at [email protected] or at +44.207.493.3020. All images are subject to copyright. Gallery approval must be granted prior to reproduction.

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Gagosian Gallery was established in 1980 by Larry Gagosian.