Howard Hodgkin

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Howard Hodgkin

Post  eddie on February 15th 2012, 6:37 am

Portrait of the artist: Howard Hodgkin, painter

'A famous painter said of me: "Oh yes, the colourist." It was patronising, but we never came to blows; I don't do that'

Interview by Laura Barnett

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 14 February 2012 21.30 GMT


'Inspiration is everywhere' … Howard Hodgkin in his studio. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe for the Guardian.


What got you started?

When I was a very small child – I must have been five, I suppose – I painted a picture of somebody with a very red face. Everyone admired it. They said: "What are you going to do when you grow up?" And I said: "I'm going to be an artist." It seemed a natural progression.

What was your big breakthrough?

My assistant tells me it was a major touring show that I had in 1976. It's very difficult to know: unlike many artists, I don't wonder how I'm getting on all the time. Particularly at the moment – I'm not going to live for ever, and time grows shorter.

Should all artists suffer to create?

I don't think there's any "should" about it, but many of them do. I do; I get very nervous and worried wondering whether anybody will understand my work. But then, there are other artists who don't suffer. I think maybe if they did, they'd be better.

What similarities do you see between the Indian and western art traditions?

Indian visual art has always been rather eclectic – that's one of the many things they have in common. One of my best artist friends was an Indian painter called Bhupen Khakhar. We had a wonderful time talking to each other, more in solidarity than mutual education.

Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere.

Which artists do you most admire?

Living artists? Virtually no one springs to mind. But Matisse and Picasso were two truly great artists, who I admired very much indeed, and hope were influential to some extent. But I don't think people ever know who's really influenced their work. It's easier for someone else to say, looking over your shoulder, "Oh, that looks just like a Grandma Moses [the late American folk artist]." Which it wouldn't, in my case.

What's the greatest threat to art today?

Art always needs an awful lot of money spent on it. But when a lot of money is spent on it, it doesn't seem to improve matters very much.

What advice would you give a young artist?

Don't.

What's the worst thing anyone ever said about you?

In New York a few years ago, a famous artist said of me, "Oh yes, the colourist." It was rather patronising, but we never came to blows; I don't do that.

How would you like to be remembered?

As somebody who kept trying.

In short

Born: London, 1932

Career: First solo show was in 1962. Has since exhibited all over the world, and won the Turner prize in 1985. Visions of Mughal India, an exhibition of his own collection of Indian paintings, is at the Ashmolean, Oxford, until 22 April.

High point: "When the National Gallery had an exhibition called Encounters: New Art from Old, for which I painted my own version of Seurat's Bathers at Asnières."

Low point: "Every morning, before the coffee kicks in."

eddie
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Re: Howard Hodgkin

Post  eddie on February 22nd 2012, 10:06 pm

Peter Duggan's Artoons – Indian miniature paintings

As visitors enjoy a close look at Howard Hodgkin's collection of Indian miniature paintings in Visions of Mughal India at Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, cartoonist Peter Duggan sees things through his own inimitable magnifying glass

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 February 2012 15.39 GMT


eddie
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