After Degas

Various artists/makers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 690

The title, lush strokes, and vibrant colors of After Degas evoke Hodgkin’s memory of encountering work by Edgar Degas. Like many of his prints, it combines intaglio printing with carborundum and hand coloring. The fluidity of the gestural marks conveys a sense of spontaneity and immediacy, effects not generally connected with intaglio. Carborundum, a sticky compound that adds surface texture, amplifies this sensation. Despite the autographic associations often projected onto gestural marks, it is not Hodgkin’s touch that is visible in the hand-painted sections but rather that of his printer, Jack Shirreff, who worked under Hodgkin’s close direction to create the vibrant green frame he subsequently painted on each print in the edition. This frame-within-a-frame directs attention inward to broad swaths of orange and red, where the contrasting tones produce a radiance felt throughout the surface.

After Degas, Howard Hodgkin (British, London 1932–2017 London), Intaglio print with carborundum in colors, with hand coloring

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