Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of The Artist

 Bhupen Khakhar. De-Luxe Tailors, 1972. Courtesy of Sotheby's and Howard Hodgkin estate.

Bhupen Khakhar. De-Luxe Tailors, 1972. Courtesy of Sotheby's and Howard Hodgkin estate.

Almost 400 objects of art that used to belong to Howard Hodgkin, an important British painter, great traveller and collector will be going on display in Dubai ahead of a Sotheby’s auction in London.

Hodgkin was known for his vividly colourful and highly emotional paintings and was one of the foremost painters of the 20th century. He died in March aged 84.

The auction comprises tiles, carpet fragments, antiques, drawings and paintings that Hodgkin amassed during his life. Notably, he did not keep his own work. “I have absolutely no desire to collect my own work, but do have what with age seems an almost unquenchable thirst for acquiring other things to look at,” Hodgkin stated. “I think of collecting as a sort of virus really, and I was infected... It is an addiction.”

Highlights include an oil on canvas by Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) that was given to him some time after it was painted in 1972. The piece titled De-Luxe Tailors is from Khakhar’s Tradesmen series, which is particularly poignant because it depicts men doing ordinary jobs that was rare in Indian art history. The two artists were great friends and Hodgkin treasured the painting deeply.

Also coming to Dubai are a series of rare and exquisite tiles from Persia and Turkey dating back hundreds of years as well as a stunning set of inlaid cabinets from 17th century India.

 Mughal Ivory-Inlaid Wood Cabinet, North West India, circa 17th century. Courtesy of Sotheby's and Howard Hodgkin estate.

Mughal Ivory-Inlaid Wood Cabinet, North West India, circa 17th century. Courtesy of Sotheby's and Howard Hodgkin estate.

According to Sotheby’s the “discreet exterior of the house that was Howard Hodgkin’s London home in Bloomsbury for over 30 years gave no indication of the richness within. Opening the door was akin to stepping into one of his paintings. Art and objects of resounding beauty diffused to stunning effect resulted in unexpected dialogues.” He also collected in such depth that despite covering almost every surface of his home, many of his acquisitions were not displayed.

This auction and parallel touring exhibition gives an insight into the life and aesthetic language of one of Britain’s great talents and is described as a personal portrait of the artist.

  • Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of The Artist will be on exhibit at Sotheby’s Dubai from October 8-12, ahead of the auction in London on October 24, 2017.