London(PTI): 400 items from British painter and collector Howard Hodgkin’s collection will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s upcoming sale from October 20-24 here.
Hodgkin, who began collecting as a 14 year old boy, was instantly drawn to Indian paintings, particularly those from the 17th to 20th centuries.
He especially sought fragments, motifs, calligraphy, colours and textures appearing in Indian tiles, textiles and rugs.
The collection at the auction here will feature two works by Bhupen Khakhar, one of India’s leading contemporary artists.
Acquired in 1972, Khakhar’s ‘De-Luxe Tailors’ epitomises the Indian artist’s early style and is a signature work from this period.
Friendship is a recurring theme in Hodgkin’s collection.
The printmaker who passed away in March this year, was friends with artists such as Robyn Denny, Peter Blake, Stephen Buckley, Peter Kinley and Patrick Caulfield whose works all feature in the sale.
“Howard liked the idea of a sale after his death. The objects have served their purpose to him, they were what he called his ‘must haves’ that, in some mysterious way, fed his work. But now they amplify his absence.
“After he died the house was so sad: all these objects remained in place but, after 33 years that we spent together, everything had changed. The sale represents a personal portrait of Howard. And it will enable his executors to fulfil his wishes,” Antony Peattie, Hodgkin’s partner, said.
What is less known about the collector is his passion for Islamic art.
Single tiles from the 16th and 17th centuries, hung in arresting wall displays with their own floral patterns rendered abstract in their solitude or grouped together as a more expansive decorative scheme, will also go under the hammer.
He had also collected individual tiles from different periods and countries, spanning Kashan, Iznik and Mughal, reflecting his status as one of the greatest colourists of the last half century.
His concern with colour becomes evident in his choice of carpets, such as the magnificent Von Hirsch carpet.
Other objet d’art in the collection include Michael Rysbrack’s Bust of King George II (1739), and an early 17th century painting of Emperor Akbar riding on an elephant on a hunting expedition in North India, among others.
Before the final show here, highlights of the auction will be on view in Mumbai from September 22-23, and in Dubai from October 8-12 October.