Sir Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin CH CBE is a British painter and printmaker. His work is most often associated with abstraction...
Matisse was very clear about saying that you have to blow your own trumpet and explain yourself, which I think has been slightly forgotten.
I want my pictures to be things. I want them to be made up of marks that are physically and individually self-sufficient.
A painting is finished when the subject comes back, when what has caused the painting to be made comes back as an object.
I fell through a crack for years. Historically, I am a nothing because I fit in no category. I can only be me.
You keep on balancing and balancing and balancing until the picture wins, because then the subject's turned into the picture.
I am happy for people to talk about my pictures, but I wish devoutly that I was not expected to talk about them myself.
When I finish a painting, it usually looks as surprising to me as to anyone else.
A collection makes its own demands. Many artists have been collectors. I think of it rather as an illness. I felt it was using up too much energy.
Collecting has been my great extravagance. It's a way of being. I collect for the same reason that I eat too much-I'm one of nature's shoppers.
I think words come between the spectator and the picture.
I'm very envious of the few artists who are any good and still do portraits.
I am isolated as an artist, not as a person.
I don't think you can lightly paint a picture. It's an activity I take very seriously.
I look at my pictures, and I think, 'Well, how did I do that?
I don't look at the work of my contemporaries very much; I tend to look at pictures by dead artists. It's much easier to get near their paintings.
I don't really have a historical overview of my work at all. I'm not an art historian. I don't see that there's this period and that period.
I once was interviewed and got so exasperated that I said, 'What do you want, a shopping list?' They kept asking, 'What's in this picture?'
In the United States there has been a kind of a structure in the Modern art world. The New York School was nearly a coherent thing-for a minute.
My friends tend to be writers. I think writers and painters are really all the same-we just sit in our rooms.
My language is what I use, and if I lost that, I wouldnt be able to say anything.
I find old copies of National Gallery catalogues, which are written in the dryest possible prose, infinitely soothing.
I think that words are often extraneous to what I do.
In England, it's thought to be morally suspect to worry about what your surroundings look like.
The picture surface recedes just as much in the 20th century as it did in the 15th. The techniques of making pictures have hardly changed.
I'm vulnerable to criticism. Any artist is, because you work alone in your studio and, until recently, critics were the only way you'd get any feedback.
The only way an artist can communicate with the world at large is on the level of feeling.
It is simply impossible to control a large painting with the edge in the same way that you can control a small one.
A lot of people... are afraid of pictures which have visible emotions in them. They feel calmer in front of pictures which are placid.
My pictures really finish themselves.
To be a painter now is to be part of a very small, endangered species.
It takes a long time for the gleam in the eye to turn into something solid.
I dont think you can lightly paint a picture. Its an activity I take very seriously.
Passion lies between one mark and the next, and also within all of them.
Eventually, a collection ceases to be a personal indulgence and assumes its own identity. In fact, it becomes a thing in its own right - rather like Frankenstein's monster.
I never think that anything I do is courageous.