Howard Hodgkin

Dinner at West Hill

1964–6

Artist
Howard Hodgkin 1932–2017
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1067 x 1270 mm
frame: 1123 x 1327 x 70 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Eliot Hodgkin 1969
Reference
T01137

Not on display

Display caption

This painting commemorates a dinner party given in March 1964 by the painter Bernard Cohen and his wife Jeanie. Hodgkin later recalled, 'I had to contend with a nervous and glittering evening in a green and white room full of small B. Cohens on the wall'. Some of the marks in this picture derive from the forms in Cohen's paintings. The white line both represents the edge of the table and reiterates the flatness of the picture plane.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

T01137 DINNER AT WEST HILL 1964–6
Inscribed by artist on masking tape attached to canvas turnover ‘Dinner at West Hill 1963–6 Howard Hodgkin’.
Canvas, 42×50 (106.5×127).
Presented by Mr Eliot Hodgkin 1969.
Coll: Charles Ewart (bought from Arthur Tooth & Sons); Eliot Hodgkin.
Exh: Arthur Tooth & Sons, February–March 1967 (12, repr.).

The artist wrote (8 May 1970): ‘“Dinner at West Hill” is perhaps the most complicated and delicately balanced picture I have so far allowed myself. It commemorates a dinner party given by Bernard & Jeanie Cohen on March 15th 1964, so the original date of the picture is a year too early. Most of the forms in the painting which are not part of my normal language derive of course from Bernard's pictures. In some cases these even overlap (his and my forms). This painting was very difficult to conclude as I had to contend with a nervous and glittering evening in a green and white room full of small B. Cohens on the wall and Tony and Jaschia R[eichardt]. (to the L in the picture, Tony at Far L) and also Bernard's pictures which were particularly undisciplined and Dionysiac at that moment and of course finally and most difficult to contain all these things inside an object as formally and physically solid as a table or chair. I have gone nearer illusionistic space than at any other time. The white line is the picture plane, the edge of the table, also it cuts the picture in two and shows therefore in two ways that everything is flat—the illusionism isn't a lie after all.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970

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