‘Hand-coloured prints 1986 -1991’ – Howard Hodgkin

25 May 1991 — 13 July 1991

In contrast to the small, dense paintings Hodgkin has been creating in recent years, the twelve hand-coloured prints that form this exhibition, surprise the viewer by their huge size and stunning simplicity.

Inspired for their scale by student memories of enormous posters seen in the Paris Metro and for their subject matter by more recent travels to faraway places such as India and Morocco, these prints exude a heady and exotic air, like tropical flowers breathing perfume. The approach is confident and light-hearted, the effect immediate, transporting us instantly warmer climates.

Glowing with vivid, intense colour-greens, scarlets and golds – they evoke images of palm trees, mangoes and midsummer monsoons, creating an impression of heat, both in sunshine and in storm. Furthermore, their straightforwardness, spontaneity and sheer exuberance soothes and refreshes the viewer like a long awaited sea breeze.

These prints are bold and beautiful, succeeding wonderfully well in Hodgkin’s intention of ‘uplifting and raising the spirits.’