Howard Hodgkin was born in London in 1932 and studied at the Camberwell School of Art in 1949 for a year, followed by the Bath Academy of Art from 1950 to1954. After finishing his education he taught at the Charterhouse School in Surrey for two years. This was followed by posts at the Bath Academy of Art (1956-1966)and the Chelsea School of Art (1966-1972).
Printmaking became an integral part of Hodgkin's artistic activity once he began making prints in 1953, four years after he started to paint. Since 1953 Howard Hodgkin has published 117 prints, 11 limited edition prints and has illustrated two books.
His prints are more light-hearted than his paintings. Some are based on memories; others are simply representations of objects or places, between 1977 and 1986, the prints revealed a stronger emotional involment without ever becoming as intense as his paintings. Their subject matter also evolved around encounters in an interior. Between 1986 and 1991, the gap between the two media temporarily widened.
The prints produced during those years are visual records, depictions of physical reality, instead of evocations of mood and sensations, as the paintings are. These prints, which are often large in size, represent objects such as palm trees, a mango, a moon, or a door.
His prints, with their spontaneity and straightforwardness continue to evoke a strong response. This was possible by using techniques such as carborundum, lift-ground etching or aquatint, always in combination with hand colouring.
Being at heart a painter, he has found a printing media that enables him to achieve this strong response to his prints which is similar to the one he strives for in his paintings.