Softground etching with hand-coloring
Support: Wove paper
Overall: 74.7 x 98.2 cm (29 7/16 x 38 11/16 in.)
Gift of Phyllis Sloane in memory of David Davis 2003.224
Catalogue raisonné: The Tate Gallery 24
Trained as a painter, Howard Hodgkin began making intaglio prints in 1973 and 1974 at Petersburg Press in New York. In 1979 he made a series of four soft-ground etchings titled In the Museum of Modern Art, which are among his most outstanding graphic works. On a copper plate larger in scale than some of his paintings, he rendered four images of a window at the Museum of Modern Art, making marks with great freedom directly into the soft ground using a variety of studio tools and even his fingertips. The prints were further darkened with gouache to suggest deepening shadows and the passage of time.
Halfway between figuration and abstraction, this emotionally charged interior scene is impossible
to decipher with any certainty, but its haunting quality is precisely what makes it so compelling.
Hodgkin claimed that his goal was to provide "maximum intensity with minimum definition"; this etching achieves that aim.
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