Sunday, May 14, 2006

Venice / Shadows


The Green Ch√Ęteau, In Central Park, Bombay Sunset Howard Hodgkin sometimes chooses titles that would suggest landscapes, but the paintings themselves never do more than suggest landscapes. House Near Venice (1984-88) includes what appears to be a house reflected in water, but other Venice pictures are no more than blurred hazes of colour. Venice / Shadows (1984-88) suggests the idea of a cool doorway or the pattern of sunlight and Venice Grey Water (1988-89) gives a sense of the lagoon – not grey but shifting greens and blues. Hodgkin’s Venice, like Turner's, is a city of memory and floating forms. Rather than landscapes, these paintings are about passing time, with its moments of clarity and confusion. As Andrew Graham-Dixon has written, they are works in which ‘topography is displaced by metaphor.’

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