Re-Discovered Howard Hodgkin at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Sale
From Market Stall to Catalogue Raisonné

A recently re-discovered work by Howard Hodgkin, For Edward, 1984 – purchased by the current owner from a market bric-à-brac stall in the late 1990s – will be offered in Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale on 22 October in London. It has an estimate of £80,000-120,000.

The work was purchased for a few pounds by the current owner whilst he was an art school in Cardiff in the late 1990s. He found the piece at Splott Market, located next to the college, which was a treasure trove for students looking for inspiration.

Soon after purchasing the work, the owner travelled to Spain as part of the Erasmus student programme, packing the then unknown lost Hodgkin in a box, where it remained until recently. The vendor only realised the work could be by Howard Hodgkin when he took it to the framers. It was then that he discovered a page cut from the exhibition catalogue Howard Hodgkin: Forty Paintings, 1973-1984, from the 1984 Whitechapel Gallery show. On the page, underneath a photograph of Hodgkin, there was a dedication, "For Edward Love from Howard 1985", written by the artist in pencil.

The work was brought into Bonhams where a specialist recognised the work as being by Hodgkin and sent it to The Estate of Howard Hodgkin to be authenticated. The estate confirmed that it was indeed an undiscovered work by the artist. It will now be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné.

Ralph Taylor, Bonhams Global Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, commented: "Howard Hodgkin was one of the seminal British painters, whose bold abstract-style works feature in numerous important international collections. This is a particularly exciting piece with an amazing backstory. Who has not dreamt of finding a lost work of art amid unwanted bric-à-brac? It has been a real privilege to help this wonderful undiscovered Hodgkin go from market stall to catalogue raisonné, and we're sure it will gain a lot of attention at auction."

Howard Hodgkin (6 August 1932 – 9 March 2017) was a British painter and printmaker. Though he was most often associated with abstraction, his never defined himself as belonging to a school. His intense brushstrokes, set against wooden supports, often continue beyond the picture plane and onto the frame, breaking from traditional confines.

Hodgkin was born in London and grew up in Hammersmith. During World War II he was evacuated to Long Island, New York, for three years. It was there that he encountered the works of Paris School artists at the Museum of Modern Art. Back in England in 1943, Hodgkin ran away from both Eton College and Bryanston School, convinced that education would impede his progress as an artist. He then attended Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (1949–50) and Bath Academy of Art, Corsham (1950–54).

While many of his contemporaries were drawn to Pop or the School of London, Hodgkin initially marked his outsider status with a series of portraits of contemporary artists and their families. His first solo exhibition was at Arthur Tooth and Sons in London in 1962. Two years later he first visited India and collecting Indian art would remain a lifelong passion, which he initially supported by dealing in picture frames.

In 1984, Hodgkin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. A year later in 1985 he won the Turner Prize, and in 1992 he was knighted. Hodgkin was also named 2014 Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon. His work features in numerous important international collections including Tate Modern in London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Other highlights of the sale include:

Banksy (b. 1975), Oh My God, 2006. Estimate: £700,000-1,000,000.
Frank Auerbach (b. 1931) J.Y.M. Seated in the Studio VI, 1988. Estimate: £380,000 - 450,000.
Christo (1935-2020), Store Front (Project), 1964. Estimate: £160,000-220,000.


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