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Telegraph Culture Art What to see. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Yet the connections between these images and their subjects are often far clearer than you might suppose.
If Hodgkin, who died on March 9 aged 84 , hardly went short of honours — from knighthood to companion of honour — he never quite enjoyed the popular acclaim accorded to figurative peers such as Lucian Freud and David Hockney. H odgkin, you would imagine, must have had synaesthesia, an ability to translate phenomena into involuntary, and generally arbitrary mental images, which take the form, in his case, of ever bolder stripes, dots and framing rectangles.
Please refresh the page and retry. Culture Art. The rest of the painting is overlain in red, swarming with a mass of green dots. My details.
Hodgkin always insisted that he was never an abstract artist, and his works have been understood to relate to memories of meaningful encounters and incidents. Some people may walk round this exhibition wondering what any of this has to do with portraiture. Hodgkin, we are told, is interested not so much in how things looked at a particular moment, but how they feel in memory, refracted by time into a heightened emotional essence.
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This extends not only to places and landscapes, but to images of specific people.
And if there are darker notes suggesting regret at loss and the passage of time, the overall mood is one of uplifting zest for life. The wonderful Mrs Nicholas Monro 1966-9 looks completely abstract, with its swaying flow of intersecting arabesques set against a white background. In double portraits of the painters Joe Tilson and Robyn Denny with their wives, he wittily incorporates their respective styles into large and very cursory goggle-eyed likenesses: Home News Sport Business.
But our reactions to people are to do with a great deal more than the shape of their face, the way the light hits them or even their expression at a given moment.