'Arriving' revisits Hodgkin's preoccupation with the theme of travel, particularly through India, and with a sweeping tide of colour and gesture he recreates a sense of place combined with more ineffable qualities such as mood and emotion. As Shanay Jhaveri has written in the catalogue accompanying Hodgkin's most recent exhibition in Mumbai (2015):
Over the years, Hodgkin has repeatedly journeyed through India. He has looked on its landscape, meditated upon it, luxuriated in its beauty, confronted its toughness, and permitted the sensations that it provoked to remain, linger, and on occasion overwhelm him. The emotional effects stimulated by these moments are distributed across his work, as for example, in 'Indian Views', a series of twelve prints from 1971, inspired by how Hodgkin's vision of the Indian countryside was framed by the rectangular windows of the railway carriages he travelled in across the country... Over forty years later, the oil painting 'Arriving', with its vast tracts of exposed wood and buoyant curves gliding left and right, carries forward those comparable sensations of fluid apprehension, of the passing world, of a traveller en route.
Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932. He attended Camberwell School of Art and the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham. His first retrospective was curated by Nicholas Serota at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1976. Since then major museum exhibitions include Paintings 1975-1995, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1995, travelled to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Kunstverein Düsseldorf; and Hayward Gallery, London); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2006, travelled to Tate Britain, London; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid); Paintings: 1992-2007, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (2007, travelled to Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge); Time and Place, 2001-2010, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (2010, travelled to De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherlands; and San Diego Museum of Art); and Howard Hodgkin, Fondation Bemberg, Toulouse, France (2013) and most recently Howard Hodgkin: Paintings 1984-2015 - A Tribute, Jehangir Nicholson Gallery, CSMVA, Mumbai, Indian Waves, Gagosian Gallery, London and Inspired by India: Paintings by Howard Hodgkin, Aga Khan Museum (2015).
Howard Hodgkin was knighted in 1992, awarded the Shakespeare Prize in Hamburg in 1997, and made a Companion of Honour in 2003.