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Red Eye by Howard Hodgkin

Red Eye by Howard Hodgkin

Petersburg Press

Colour Lithograph


Edition Size: 100

Sheet Size: 10.3 x 12.25 inches

Reference: Elizabeth Knowles, Howard Hodgkin: Prints 1977 to 1983, Tate Gallery, London 1985, no. 35, illustrated p. 57.


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

Lithograph (from one plate) with hand coloring in gouache (an orange background wash and red) on cream Velin Arches mould made paper . Edition 100: this impression 29/100. Signed by the artist and dated 77 lower right in pencil, numbered lower right in pencil, verso.

While most Hodgkin works are abstract, the artist usually includes observational gestures: for example, a room viewed from above becomes a grouping of soft shapes. Here, there is a sense of light passing through shades, or a beam of red light flashing in the night. A frame of red – characteristic of Hodgkin’s work – positions the viewer as looking through a window (whether literally or figuratively). The frame motif is an aspect of Hodgkin’s lifelong attempt to capture single moments in time and infuse them with feeling and observation.

Through his extensive collaborations with Petersburg Press, Hodgkin began to use hand coloring as a means to charge his images with urgency, and create a complex play between layers and techniques. The soft, wide hatching in black has been printed over a background wash of light orange, while red gouache applied thickly on the surface produces a rich density of velvety color. Red Eye displays the increase in emotional content and intensity in Hodgkin’s work after the late 1970s. His marks are more fluid and lush due to an increased looseness of handling. These later works show a richness and a surface texture previously lacking – mainly due to the application of gouache or watercolor by hand.

A copy of this print is in the collection of Tate, London.



The Artist

Howard Hodgkin

British printmaker and painter Howard Hodgkin is most associated with the abstract style. Exhibiting his first works in 1962, he created continuously up to his death at age 84 in 2017. London-born Hodgkin studied at first Camberwell Art School and then the Bath Academy of Art. His first works used only a few colours and curved forms, though this evolved over time. Later pieces used brighter and bolder colours and forms and had a more immediate, spontaneous quality. His most famous work is a series of paintings of Venice, known as the ‘Venetian Views’. It shows the ancient watery city at various times of the day. ‘Venice Afternoon’ is seen as the exceptional work in the quartet. Its creation was achieved through a complex printing process which used many layers and an incredibly complex printing process to build up its colourful effect. It is now on display at the Yale Centre of British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, in the USA. Howard Hodgkin created an abstract screen print on paper called ‘Swimming’ for the London 2012 Olympics. He won premier art award the Turner Prize in 1985, was knighted in 1992 and awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Oxford in 2000.

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