Howard Hodgkin

Mr and Mrs Stephen Buckley

1974–6

Medium
Oil paint on wood
Dimensions
Support: 733 x 1073 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1980
Reference
T03069

Display caption

Hodgkin recalled that this work was painted

as a result of staying for the week with the Buckleys in a house they had borrowed at Brede near Rye, Sussex. The subject of the picture is simply a family group sitting round a fire in the evening... The picture was painted on a second-hand wooden drawing board, the surface of which was not primed in any way. The pin-holes can be seen all over the picture.

Gallery label, April 2001

Catalogue entry

T03069 MR AND MRS STEPHEN BUCKLEY 1974–6

Inscribed ‘Howard Hodgkin 1976’ on reverse
Oil and synthetic thickening medium on wood panel, 28 1/2 × 42 1/2 (73.3 × 107.4)
Purchased from James Kirkman Ltd (Gytha Trust) 1980
Exh: The Human Clay, Hayward Gallery, August 1976 (58); Howard Hodgkin, André Emmerich Gallery, New York, September–October 1977 (no catalogue); Howard Hodgkin, Galerie André Emmerich, Zurich, November–December 1977 (no catalogue); Mixed Exhibition, Knoedler Gallery, March 1978 (no catalogue, listed on duplicated sheet); Art Anglais d'Aujourd'hui: Collection Tate Gallery, Londres, Musée Rath, Geneva, July–September 1980 (12, repr.)

The title of this painting refers to the British artist Stephen Buckley, and his wife. Howard Hodgkin also painted a smaller version of the same subject, ‘The Buckleys at Brede’ 1974–6 (Australian National Gallery, Canberra). The artist writes (letter of 2 June 1980): 'Both pictures were the result of staying for the weekend with the Buckleys in a house they had borrowed at Brede near Rye, Sussex. The subject of the picture is simply a family group sitting round a fire in the evening. I think the time of year must have been autumn, as I remember it was quite chilly.

'Beyond this, I hope the picture speaks for itself...

'The picture was painted on a second-hand wooden drawing board, the surface of which was not primed in any way. The drawing pin holes can be seen all over the picture...

'Though I approve its present frame, the picture was originally exhibited without one and ideally this is how it should remain. So I should prefer it to be shown without a frame.’

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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