Howard Hodgkin (1932–2017) was an art superstar and a master of colour. Born in London, he was evacuated to New York in World War II where he saw works by School of Paris artists such as Matisse and Bonnard at the Museum of Modern Art – works which he couldn't easily have seen in London. Back home by '43, Hodgkin ran away from boarding school, believing education would impede his progress as an artist. He felt happier at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and Bath Academy of Art, Corsham.
His exhibition Forty Paintings reopened the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in 1985 and he won the Turner Prize the same year. During his lifetime Hodgkin was honoured with solo exhibitions at many major galleries such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Tate Britain, London.
As Michael McNay wrote in Hodgkin’s obituary for The Guardian, “for someone in whom so many influences have been detected, from Turner to Seurat, Vuillard to Matisse, and, in their great splashes and swaths of colour, Ivon Hitchens and Peter Lanyon, Hodgkin’s paintings are instantly recognisable as his alone.’