Turner Prize-winning artist Howard Hodgkin dies aged 84

Sir Howard Hodgkin
The British painter Sir Howard Hodgkin Credit: Micha Theiner/City AM / Rex Feat

Howard Hodgkin, British artist and winner of the 1985 Turner Prize, has died the age of 84.

"It is with great sadness that we report the death earlier today of Howard Hodgkin peacefully in hospital in London," said a spokesperson for The Tate Gallery in a statement.   

"Howard Hodgkin is widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest artists and has been a central figure in contemporary art for over half a century."

Born in 1932, Hodgkin began his career as a painter in the Sixties, but did not achieve major recognition until the Seventies.

Howard Hodgkin, pictured at seen here at the opening of an exhibition of his work at the Hayward Gallery, next to his painting Afternoon Flowers Credit: Richard Watt

Since then, however, he has been recognised as one of Britain's most important modern abstract painters, and was awarded a knighthood in 1992.

“Howard Hodgkin was one of the great artists and colourists of his generation," said Tate Director Nicholas Serota.

"His sensuous, intense paintings were infused with his love and understanding of late nineteenth century French painting, especially Degas, Vuillard and Bonnard, and by his feeling for the heat and colours of India, which he visited on many occasions.

Going for a walk with Andrew by Howard Hodgkin, 1995-1998 Credit: Walker Art Center/National Portrait Gallery

"Over the past 30 years Howard's international standing has continued to grow with major exhibitions in Europe and America. His characteristic subject, the memory of a meeting or a conversation with a friend, resulted in paintings that radiate the emotions of life: love, anger, vanity, beauty and companionship.”

Last year, Hodgkin, who continued to paint into his final years,  spoke to The Telegraph about his daily routine, the importance of naps, and about the loneliness of being an artist.

"I don’t like being alone in the studio, or anywhere else. It’s a very lonely occupation being a painter; I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody," he said.

Love Song, 2015, by Howard Hodgkin Credit: COURTESY GAGOSIAN

"How long I paint for each day varies, because I don’t have many ideas, and often when I have them, they suddenly vanish. In that case it's best to stop and wait for another day. I often take a nap to escape from one thing or another; usually other people’s disappointment."

He also expressed his disapprobation about the current state of the art world in Britian today, telling The Telegraph: "I have no interest in the younger generation of artists whatsoever I think it’s a great pity that some of them go on pretending to themselves that they are artists."