Upcoming exhibition

Hodgkin and Creed - Inside Out

18. September – 17. November 2019

This exhibition pairs the painter Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) with the conceptual artist Martin Creed. It celebrates their conviction that art offers a framework through which we can express and come to terms with our complex emotional lives.

Creed Work No 2325 2015 The artist 01
023 Talking about Art 55 Hodgkin NPG2017photo

Hodgkin famously described his abstracted, boldly coloured paintings as representational pictures of emotional situations. He declared that the only way an artist could communicate with the world was on the level of feeling. Over the course of his career he refined a unique visual vocabulary, which gave compelling shape to otherwise impalpable emotional experience.

Using vastly different media, ranging from cacti to iron girders, Creed's minimal, conceptual works bring structure to what he calls the "soup" of emotion. Hodgkin admired Creed's direct and humorous approach to the same raw material whilst recognising his own techniques in it, including concise and repetitive visual languages, an interest in performance, and a commitment to a type of non-autographic subjectivity.

Pairing these artists offers a refreshing view of their work: The first exhibition conceived since his death, Inside Out takes us beyond a lyrical reading of Hodgkin's oeuvre and allows us to reconsider it in the context of contemporary art practice. At the same time, it approaches Creed's minimalist work through Hodgkin's expressionism, drawing out its essential emotional element, which is often overlooked.

Work comes from feelings and goes towards feelings

Martin Creed
Martin Creed Portrait

In 2016 the artists showed their mutual admiration when Hodgkin invited Creed to present him with the first Swarowski Whitechapel Art Icon award. Creed performed the song 'Feeling Blue' in his honour.

The exhibition is curated by Guy Robertson and produced by Kistefos in collaboration with The Estate of Howard Hodgkin and Martin Creed. It brings together important works from public and private collections, including the Christen Sveaas Art Collection.

For an artist, time can always be regained . . . because by an act of imagination you can always go back.

Howard Hodgkin
Howard Hodgkin