Howard Hodgkin

Andrew Graham-Dixon, Author ABRAMS $49.5 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3418-4
British artist Howard Hodgkin strives to depict ``emotional situations,'' to pin down ``the evasiveness of reality,'' as he explains. Sometimes obscure yet nearly always engaging, his lush, radiant, daring semiabstract paintings evoke the haphazardness of experience, the way each of us subjectively constructs reality. Hodgkin is often classified as an intimist with Matisse and Bonnard, but in this excellent study, the first monograph on the artist, Graham-Dixon, chief art critic for the Independent in London, provocatively views him as a synthesizer who fulfills Baudelaire's call for a painting of modern life rooted in a sense of the transitory and the contingent. Hodgkin creates universes out of densely packed rainbow curves, pulsating blobs of color, warring stripes. Using juxtapositions of patterns and symbols, of realism and nonrealism, he speaks of loneliness, fear, beauty, death, absence and joy in a self-sufficient pictorial language. His paintings are like rare, enigmatic gifts whose meanings sensuously unfold. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 232 pages - 978-0-500-09298-9
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