Howard Hodgkin and his influence on architecture
We are sad to hear the news of the death of our near neighbour in Bloomsbury, Sir Howard Hodgkin.
Sir Howard was at the time of his death, the greatest British contemporary artist, known for his bold, flamboyant and colourful paintings. He also applied his art to architecture. Buildings, often surprisingly rarely, incorporate public art and when they do, it can be an unsuccessful marriage. However, the British Council building in New Delhi by Charles Correa, with its boldly muralled front façade by Hodgkin, is a rare example of a seamless and successful collaboration between architect and artist.
“I visited the building in 1992, shortly after its completion when I was in the first year of my architectural studies. Sweeping curves of black stone and white marble are caged behind a restrained front facade of terracotta-red sandstone. The muralled facade feels like it wants to break free, but can’t. I vividly remember stepping out of the heat and chaos of KG Marg, a busy artery of Connaught Circus, into the lush grounds of the British Council and being mesmorised by the scale and energy of the building”