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Howard Hodgkin
Black Moonlight: abstract black white and gray gouache and watercolor portrait

1980

$5,000

About

Moody, expressive large scale black and white abstract interior scene with grey watercolor and gouache, depicting a bust, indian Mugal carpet, floral designs and decorative motifs. Includes a self portrait of Howard Hodgkin. While British pop artists such as David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield numbered amongst Howard Hodgkin's circle of friends, Hodgkin's work is painterly, expressionist, and abstract. Paper 44 x 55 in. / 112 x 141 cm. Black Moonlight by Howard Hodgkin. Lithograph with hand coloring and gouache on two sheets. Printed on two sheets of Rives buff mould-made paper. Signed by the artist with initials and dated 80 lower left in pencil (on left-hand sheet), numbered 35/50 by the artist lower right in pencil (on right-hand sheet). This print depicts an abstracted apartment interior marked by expressive strokes of grey and black. Two figures can be made out: a self-portrait and a bust, or perhaps the artist and a friend, in Hodgkin's signature painterly style. The artist layered transparent blacks ranging from beige to black, and hand coloring in gouache and watercolor in three shades of black in this moody print, rendering each impression in the edition unique. Busts are a reoccurring motif in Hodgkin’s work, allowing him to introduce the idea of the self or another person without overtly depicting a figure. The downward-pointing arrow at the center of the print was painted in translucent watercolor through a stencil, so that it would bleed into the background. This arrow connects the portrait on the left with the bust in the lower right. Behind the bust hangs an antique Mugal rug, and behind the portrait, its complex patterns are mimicked with fingerprints beneath a loosely-painted design. The 1980s marked Hodgkin’s use of prints with paired sheets, most of them large in size. Through hand coloring and variable inking, he explored duplication and mirroring. Many of these paired sheets featured one in color, and the other in monochrome. This atmospheric image expresses Hodgkin’s lifelong attempt to capture single moments in time and infuse them with feeling and observation. Like many of Hodgkin’s prints that share plates, Black Moonlight is printed from the same plates as Moonlight. The two works aren’t a pair, but rather explore different moods. Catalogue Reference: Elizabeth Knowles, Howard Hodgkin: Prints 1977 to 1983, Tate Gallery, London 1985, no. 32 illustrated. Liesbeth Heenk, Howard Hodgkin Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné, Thames and Hudson, London 2003, no. 62 illustrated. A copy of this print is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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About the Seller
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