The work of Howard Hodgkin, one of Britain’s greatest artists, is to go on show at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath from October 14, 2017 until January 7, 2018.
The exhibition, India on Paper, explores Hodgkin’s love affair with India and features a range of his Indian-themed works.
Howard Hodgkin had strong links with Bath having studied at Bath Academy of Art where he later became a tutor (1955-1966). Many of his early portraits were of fellow teachers at Bath Academy of Art. Until his recent death, Hodgkin had a special relationship with the Victoria Art Gallery. He exhibited publically for the first time at the Gallery in 1952 and presented a major print to the Gallery last year.
Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “This show was conceived several years before Howard Hodgkin’s recent death. Never intended as a memorial display, I nonetheless hope it will be a fitting tribute to such a distinguished friend of the Gallery and bring pleasure to tens of thousands of visitors.”
Hodgkin was 32 when he first visited India in 1964. The trip was a revelation and he returned almost every year, moved by a quality of openness in the daily life of the subcontinent, where “everything is very visible, somehow, there. Life isn’t covered up with masses of objects, masses of possessions”. Hodgkin visited and worked in Mumbai until early this year, painting pictures using the richest tones and colours.
The earliest of Hodgkin’s Indian-themed prints on show is Indian Room (1967), which will be shown alongside an unpublished trial proof from the Victoria Art Gallery’s collection that hasn’t been exhibited before. Other subjects covered in the exhibition include the Indian Views (1971), a series of screen-prints evoking scenes glimpsed through the windows of railway carriages; two very large prints, Delhi and In India (2012); and the Indian Waves series of 1990-91, which were painted onto sheets of handmade Indian paper.