Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Indian Summer

I headed to the recently accoladed Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield today to feast my eyes upon Howard Hodgkin's Painting India exhibition. A check of opening times prior to departure led me to a sensationalist review that briefly marred my mood. I agree art institutions have a 'responsibility to respond to the social and political context', but does a quota analysis of a preview night really demonstrate segregation? 

I perhaps resembled this beautiful find by William Scott on arrival. But then I walked into a world of multi-faceted colour that totally transformed a dreary Tuesday. Hodgkin's work celebrates moments he experienced. Yes, there is variety and difference but at the same time and collectively, the exhibition sings of togetherness. Indian and British.. Rich colours and raw materials.. Concrete structures and oil paint..  

Here's a few of my favourites: 

'Red sky at night' - Delight. 

'Small Indian Sky' -  Radiating beyond the frame.

'Indian Veg' Triptych - On chopping boards. 

And 'Over to You' - Hodgkin's final painting from 2015-2017, which looks to me like a immaculately captured finale flourish.

Another couple of treasures include this Evelyn Gibbs illustration of 'Eliza and Dinah Working Hand Presses at Raleigh Works' (1943) that took me back to when I was obsessed with drawing lace machines

And finally Hodgkin's 'Night Thoughts', which evoked this album cover (or vice versa?)