Abstract painter Howard Hodgkin, dead at 84, remembered as great colourist; still time to catch his debut Hong Kong show

Solo exhibition in Hong Kong of British painter known for bold works that fused abstraction with the beauty of nature continues

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 12:21pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 12:21pm

British artist Howard Hodgkin, whose bold paintings fused abstraction with the glorious beauty of nature, has died. He was 84.

The Tate group of galleries said Hodgkin died peacefully on Thursday at a London hospital. His debut Hong Kong solo exhibition, “In the Pink”, a collection of recent paintings, is showing at the Gagosian Gallery in Central; it ends on Saturday.

Born in London in 1932, Hodgkin was evacuated to the United States as a child during the second world war. Returning to Britain, he studied at Camberwell School of Art and Bath Academy of Art, where he went on to teach.

His work has been shown in solo exhibitions around the world, including major retrospectives at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Tate Britain, London.

Many of Hodgkin’s bold, colourful works were inspired by the landscapes of India, which he visited often. Tate director Nicholas Serota said Hodgkin’s paintings “radiate the emotions of life: love, anger, vanity, beauty and companionship”.

“Howard Hodgkin was one of the great artists and colourists of his generation,” Serota said.

Hodgkin won the Turner Prize in 1985 and was knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in 1992.

Despite his many honours, he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper last year that he did not consider himself a success.

“It’s a very lonely occupation being a painter,” he said. “I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody.

“Being well-known or having lots of exhibitions has nothing to do with being an artist – those things are just chance.”

An exhibition of Hodgkin’s portraits opens this month at Britain’s National Portrait Gallery.