This is the first major exhibition of Hodgkin’s work in nearly 30 years and aims to return this remarkable British painter to the spotlight.
By his death in 1987, Hodgkin was not only a renowned painter of still life subjects and landscapes, but also a collector and the author of a well-received novel.
Waddesdon’s retrospective brings together the largest ever exhibition of Hodgkin’s paintings and drawings – nearly 100 – many of which have never been seen in public before. It also assembles a small group of works by other artists that inspired him, and a number of the objects kept by his family which appear in the paintings.
Hodgkin’s art is greatly prized by collectors – many of his works are still with the families of the original owners, which means that a large proportion of the exhibition comes from private collections. A significant holding of the artist’s work is to be found at Ramsbury Manor in Wiltshire. Part of the exhibition will be devoted to an introduction to the history of this extraordinary but little-known house. Highlights include a series of 12 fruit and flower compositions dating from 1950/1 – The Months – each representing a month of the year.
The exhibition also includes a selection of objects used by Hodgkin as props or subjects for his paintings. These include the oil can used for British Railway Oil Cans (1966, Private Collection), ceramics, baskets, feathers, seed cases and snail shells. There are also objects used by the artist himself, including his apron, paintbrushes and a register listing his tempera paintings and who commissioned them.