Howard Hodgkin born 1932
Lithograph with hand colouring 920 x 1524 (36 1/4 x 60) on cream Vélin d'Arches mould made paper, same size; printed by Judith Solodkin and Arnold Brooks with hand colouring by Cinda Sparling at Solo Press, New York and published by Bernard Jacobson in an edition of 50
Inscribed ‘H H 82' bottom centre and ‘26/50' b.l.; printer's stamp b.r.
Purchased from Petersburg Press (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
Exh: Howard Hodgkin: Prints 1977-1983, Tate Gallery, Sept.-Dec. 1985 (37, repr.)
Lit: Richard Morphet, ‘Introduction' in [Elizabeth Knowles (ed.)], Howard Hodgkin: Prints 1977-1983, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, 1985, p.16, repr. p.58
P77050 is a lithograph from three plates and was hand coloured by Sparling with gouache: a grey wash background (grey and black blend) and also a black water colour. Another print, entitled ‘Bleeding' (repr. Tate Gallery exh. cat. 1985, p.44 in col.), was produced from identical plates and was brilliantly coloured in greens, orange-red and crimson.
The image depicts the interior of a Manhattan apartment in which a quarrel is going on. ‘Mourning' and ‘Bleeding' convey different moments during the altercation. Like P77044
the clearly structured frame and the vertical divisions concentrate the action in a theatrical way and enhance the atmosphere of a drama. The richly decorated vertical bands were copied from Indian cotton painted panels which were hanging in the interior at the time of the quarrel. Not only do they suggest the importance to Hodgkin of ‘literal' description but more generally they illustrate Hodgkin's admiration for Indian painting and applied art which has been an enduring influence on his work and has directly informed a number of paintings and prints. This room provided the subject for a pair of slightly earlier prints, ‘Moonlight' (repr. Tate Gallery exh. cat. 1985, p.56) and ‘Black Moonlight', 1980 (repr. ibid., p.46 in col.), which contained details of a 17th Century Moghul hanging now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. By the time of the moment recalled in P77050 this hanging had been replaced by the Indian cotton painted panel of which Hodgkin made detailed drawings preparatory to the print. The British Museum owns a collaged impression which was a study for the colouring and composition of ‘Moonlight'. It anticipates some of the ground of P77050.
Although renowned as a colourist, Hodgkin has often expressed a preference for monochrome prints and amongst the paired images this is especially so. The artist has stated that ‘the monochrome version is closer to what I was actually doing because it's closer to what I saw when working on the plate with lithographic ink' (quoted in Teresa Gleadowe 1987).
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.388-9