Bernard Jacobson Graphics is pleased to announce an exhibition of limited edition prints by Howard Hodgkin, which focuses on the first two decades of his printmaking. The exhibition shows the artist's early collaboration with Bernard Jacobson, who published most of the prints on display.
The exhibition covers Hodgkin's early output between 1966 and 1986, starting with his early experiments in printmaking such as the series '5 rooms.' In subsequent series the artist introduced the use of hand-colouring and enlarged prints to an oversized dimension, finally achieving a sculptural quality and lushness which became a signature component of his printmaking practice.
Hodgkin became a printmaker in the 1960s and has since been impassioned with the process, inventing new techniques and methods to develop his idea of printmaking.
Howard Hodgkin started his printmaking career with lithographs as the process was very similar to the directness of applying paint to a canvas. In Girl on a Sofa, Bedroom and Indian Room we see interiors with brightly coloured geometric shapes, sometimes recognizable as human figures or organic forms. After a voyage to India his interest turned towards capturing a variety of views: views from his train window while crossing the country, views through shutters, or views out of a window into a landscape. He also started painting borders around the image, which function as windows.
With hand-colouring, Hodgkin brought directness and spontaneity to his prints. As a result the texture became much richer with the colour bleeding into the printing ink - a chance encounter which Hodgkin encouraged and accepted. The hand-colouring could take place at any stage of the printing process and in the final print the many layers of paint and ink become indistinguishable under the opulence of the final texture. However, Hodgkin started to question the autographic mark and decided to take on assistants who would execute the hand-colouring following his instructions. He mused, "I want the language to be as impersonal as possible. [...] I want to make marks that are anonymous as well as autonomous."
The oversized print Bleeding in the exhibition, with its richness of colour, shows a development towards bolder prints. It is one of only two prints with preparatory studies. Featuring his New York apartment, it contains decorative designs that are inspired by Indian art as well as the Alhambra in Granada. His long-lived fascination with Indian culture and the Indian landscape finds here an almost figurative expression.
Later under the guidance of his new printer Jack Shirreff, Hodgkin introduced the use of carborundum to his printing. It allowed for deeper colours on a slightly embossed paper. As in Red Listening Ear and Blue Listening Ear, the texture becomes bolder and the hand-colouring of increasing importance in these prints.
Howard Hodgkin was born in 1932 in London. He started his career as a painter and became a prolific printmaker. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1984 and won the Turner Prize in 1985. He had many important exhibitions in museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1995, and a major touring retrospective at Tate Britain, London; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and the Reina Sofia, Madrid in 2006. His work can be found in the collections of major museums, including MOMA, New York; Tate, London; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Notes to Editors
Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969, publishing and distributing prints by artists including Robyn Denny, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Richard Smith, Ed Ruscha and William Tillyer. By the mid 1970s, having established himself as one of the major dealers in the international print boom, Jacobson began to show paintings and sculpture. The early 1980s saw the gallery open branches in Los Angeles and New York, expanding the range of international artists to include West Coast American artists such as Joe Goode and Larry Bell as well as modern British masters such as David Bomberg, Ivon Hitchens, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, Stanley Spencer and Graham Sutherland. From 1977, the gallery moved more firmly into American and international art, with shows of artists such as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Frank Stella. Recently, the gallery has held shows by the American artists Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, while European painters include Bram Bogart and Pierre Soulages and British artists William Tillyer, Bruce McLean and Marc Vaux.
In 2011 the gallery opened a new space in New York on East 71st Street with an inaugural exhibition entitled 60 Years of British Art followed by 21 Americans, the latter showing work by major American artists including Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. Bernard Jacobson Gallery also has a strong presence at major international art fairs participating at The Armory Show, New York; Expo Chicago; Frieze Masters, London; and the prestigious Art Basel fairs in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami Beach.