AboutGagosian Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of seven new small-scale paintings by Howard Hodgkin.
Like Japanese haikus, these jewel-like paintings surprise with maximalist gestures compressed into very small formats, and daring, voluptuous colors expressed in the complex layers and textures that emanate from the brush. One senses, rather than fully apprehending, the presence of the subject whether hermetic, allusive, fragmentary -- that resides in the heart of each. Hodgkin is an artist who embraces spontaneity and directness in equal measure to the processes of reflection, capitulation, and disguise. Sometimes he will labour intensively over what looks like a single brush mark produced in an instant. With their incorporated frames and painted wooden supports, his pictures behave as both objects and images.
In this group of very recent works, Hodgkin depicts vibrant traces of human experience inspired by his memories and encounters in subjects such as Rain on the Pane, Green Thoughts and Sky. Using bold gestures that seem to push beyond the confines of the diminutive format that he has chosen, each work is at once a completely autonomous composition and a suggestive synecdoche of the greater aesthetic reality that lies beyond its limits. With In the Train, he goes one step further, leaving bare sections of the wooden panel as a reminder of the physicality of both his process and the fleeting sensorial images that it captures so convincingly.