None But The Brave Deserves The Fair (1981-84) by Howard Hodgkin

None But The Brave Deserves The Fair - Howard Hodgkin - 1981-84

Artwork Information

TitleNone But The Brave Deserves The Fair
ArtistHoward Hodgkin
MediumOil On Wood
Dimensions24 3/4 x 30 in. (62.8 x 76.2 cm)
Current LocationPrivate Collection, New York

About None But The Brave Deserves The Fair

Howard Hodgkin’s oil painting, “None But The Brave Deserves The Fair,” created between 1981-84, is a masterful work of art. Measuring 23 3/4 x 30 inches, the painting on wood has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums like the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT.

The phrase “None but the brave deserve the fair” is a proverb that implies only those who are willing to take risks and are unafraid of failure will attain success. In this painting, it seems as though Hodgkin was acknowledging this fact about life with his choice of title. It could also suggest that only those who are brave enough can appreciate beauty or see something beyond what’s immediately visible.

Howard Hodgkin denied any direct connection between his coming out as gay and the development of his painting style but some of his works became more explicit. This artwork appears to be made up of layers upon layers of vibrant colors that create an abstract design which gives it an impressionistic feel – a signature style developed by Hodgkin when he was already famous for modernizing Indian miniature paintings. Although seemingly abstract, there is exceptional attention to detail leaving subtle indications pointing towards sexual references throughout its composition; these features indicate that Howard’s sexuality influenced some aspects of his style.

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