Hodgkin’s work of the 1990s exhibits an increasingly expressive and gestural style. While his subject matter grew more emotionally complex, his brushwork became looser and his mark-making simplified. This economy of means indicated a growing confidence and a refinement of his imagery, as seen inLearning About Russian Music 1999.
Hodgkin has long acknowledged his admiration for the painters Edouard Vuillard, Edgar Degas, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and perhaps above all, Henri Matisse. In his homages to these figures he does not attempt to replicate their respective styles; rather, he aims to invoke his experience of looking at their works.
Over the years, Hodgkin’s work has attracted the attention of numerous poets and novelists, inviting various collaborations and responses from writers such as Bruce Chatwin, Susan Sontag and Julian Barnes. Hodgkin draws equal inspiration from literary sources: In Paris with You 1995–6 takes its title from a poem by James Fenton.