Howard Hodgkin brings emotionally charged, abstract colour to Modern Art Oxford

By Mark Sheerin | 02 July 2010
A blue abstract painting in a thcik wooden frame

(Above) Saturday (2005-2008). © Howard Hodgkin, courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Image: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Exhibition: Howard Hodgkin - Time and Place, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, until September 5 2010

Despite representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, winning the Turner Prize in 1985 and enjoying a major retrospective at Tate Britain in 2006, Howard Hodgkin has said he feels he is yet to achieve recognition as a painter.

This new show features work exclusively from the past 10 years. But as with work from the previous three to five decades, fans will recognise the emotionally charged colours, teasing, at times autobiographical titles and carefully planned, abstract compositions.

More than 20 paintings feature here, which is about half the number Nicholas Serota put on display while curating an earlier show by the artist at this same gallery in 1976. Forty Five Paintings 1949-1975 was a seminal moment for Serota, Hodgkin and the gallery.

In a way, the London-based painter has suffered from too much recognition. Formal honours include a knighthood and an appointment as Companion of Honour. Critics may not expect hungry, vital or dangerous work from such a well established figure.

But Hodgkin has an international reputation, built on the strength of an oeuvre which continues to expand. The current show tours to Tilburg in the Netherlands, and the San Diego Museum of Art. It may well not be his last.

Open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday (10pm Thursday-Saturday, from 12pm Sunday). Admission free.

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