Dinner at West Hill by Howard Hodgkin
The artist wrote (8 May 1970): ‘“Dinner at West Hill” is perhaps the most complicated and delicately balanced picture I have so far allowed myself. It commemorates a dinner party given by Bernard & Jeanie Cohen on March 15th 1964, so the original date of the picture is a year too early. Most of the forms in the painting which are not part of my normal language derive of course from Bernard's pictures. In some cases these even overlap (his and my forms). This painting was very difficult to conclude as I had to contend with a nervous and glittering evening in a green and white room full of small B. Cohens on the wall and Tony and Jaschia R[eichardt]. (to the L in the picture, Tony at Far L) and also Bernard's pictures which were particularly undisciplined and Dionysiac at that moment and of course finally and most difficult to contain all these things inside an object as formally and physically solid as a table or chair. I have gone nearer illusionistic space than at any other time. The white line is the picture plane, the edge of the table, also it cuts the picture in two and shows therefore in two ways that everything is flat—the illusionism isn't a lie after all.’ (http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hodgkin-dinner-at-west-hill-t01137/text-catalogue-entry)
Click to select the cover image for this artwork.