Small Durand Gardens is a striking oil painting on wood by English painter Howard Hodgkin that was exhibited at various galleries between 1974 and 1981. It takes its name from the address of Richard Morphet, curator of Hodgkin’s first retrospective exhibition at Tate Gallery in 1976.
The painting stands out with its incorporation of a painted frame into the picture-space, which is a distinctive feature in many of Hodgkin’s works. Its composition exists in an indeterminate zone between representation and abstraction, aiming to communicate a remembered memory from a specific experience.
Hodgkin has established himself as one of England’s most prominent contemporary painters for his unique style that fuses abstraction and representation. His works are visually powerful, evoking emotional responses to remembered experiences through bold colors and impressionistic brushwork. Small Durand Gardens represents one such powerful work that captures viewers’ attention with its vibrant colors and complex composition.
To fully appreciate Small Durand Gardens and other works by Hodgkin, one needs to delve deeper into his distinct style that blends the sophistication of formal abstraction with expressive painterly fluidity. And despite receiving critical acclaim throughout his career, he continues to be celebrated today for his contributions to modern art.