After Degas by Howard Hodgkin
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Color carborundum etching, with green tempera wash, on ivory wove paper. Signed in pencil H.H. at center of lower margin, float mounted behind glazing. Sight: 9 3/4 by 12 1/2 inches; Frame: 17 3/4 by 20 1/2 inches. Not inspected out of frame but in apparently very fine condition.
English artist Howard Hodgkin’s painterly prints from the 1990s frequently reference framed artworks or windows. This print not only includes a hand-painted green tempera framing border, but its title looks back at the 19th-century French landscapes of Edgar Degas. While more abstract than Degas’s early oil paintings, they recall his groundbreaking work in pastel and monotype. Hodgkin achieved the sandy texture evident in the mountainous mass at the bottom of the image by adding a carborundum paste to the plate, rather than abrading and burnishing it. Using this technique to provide texture is similar to J. M. W. Turner’s mixed method landscapes. A wild, russet landscape is stirring but hemmed in by a strange purse-lipped emerald green frame. An almost apprehensible form – perhaps a shoulder blade, perhaps a warm rock face – emerges from the blur.
The artist has said that "Degas is someone that, in an odd way, I feel very close to. I don’t say that in any hubristic sense. The things he observed became almost instantly things that had happened. And so he would go on re-using them, tracing and transferring images or parts of images from one work to another."