Charlotte Burns profiles painter Howard Hodgkin on the occasion of his exhibition From Memory at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through June 18, 2016.
Burns writes: "Hodgkin famously paints up to the very edge of the painting, often covering the frame. It is a form of control, making sure that the object’s completeness cannot be interrupted by a frame placed around it by somebody else. For similar reasons, he paints on board instead of canvas: 'A firm surface won’t answer back. It just remains there, and that’s very important to have. So much of my working isn’t fixed, so it’s wonderful that this is fixed, it’s firm; there it is. I’ve always thought that the first thing that painting should be is a thing – paintings should be like objects that exist firmly.' Why is that so important – because everything else is so fleeting? 'Probably, yes. They have to be complete in themselves.'"