Born in London in 1932, Howard Hodgkin was evacuated to he United States for a period as a child. He was trained at Camberwell from 1949 to 1950 and at Bath Academy of Art from 1950 to 1954. He taught at the Charter House School from 1954 to 1956, at the Bath Academy from 1956 to 1966 and at Chelsea School of Art from 1966 to 1974. He was Artist-in-Residence at Brasenose College in Oxford from 1976 to 1977. During the 1950s he painted mask-like faces (e.g. “Dancing”, 1959).
Widely traveled in Europe and America, Hodgkin’s visits to India have been of great importance to him. He draws on his great knowledge of Mughal Miniatures, which he collects, for the development of his semi- abstract, intensely-colored evocations of friends in their interiors, executed usually on board and often small in scale, often also integrating the painting of the frame with the picture itself. His usual method is to start from a memory, eliminating excessive detail in order to concentrate the essence of his experience in a saturation of color and pattern, sometimes overpainting a work for several years.
Hodgkin had a show of “Forty Paintings 1973- 1984” at the Venice Biennale in 1984, which also inaugurated the renovated Whitechapel Gallery. In 1985 he won the Turner Prize. He has been a trustee of the Tate and National Galleries.