Howard Hodgkin/Eduardo Paolozzi

Two of the great names of contemporary British art have exhibitions within a couple of miles of each other in London and a same-day viewing underlines both the contrasts and similarities in their methods of making art. Hodgkin, whose paintings of friends grace the National Portrait Gallery till June 18, is, of course, the supreme colourist, the figures of his subjects all but lost in the gorgeous tones of his deceptively simple splurges of colour. On the other hand Paolozzi, whose work is being given a retrospective at Whitechapel Gallery till May 14, is noted for the precision of his sculptures and, even more so, of his designs. Yet his use of bold colours, particularly in his graphics, must surely owe a debt to Hodgkin. And Paolozzi’s love of uncompromising lines and boundaries strikes a chord with those heavily painted but nonetheless rigid frames that surround Hodgkin’s portraits. Both men’s work is worth as much of your time as possible, Hodgkin’s for the sheer visceral joy of his palette and Paolozzi for the astonishing range of media he used: bronze, aluminium, chrome, wood, paper, ceramics, watercolour, silkscreen, monotype, pen and ink, pencil, fabrics, wallpaper, collage, mural and mosaic immediately spring to mind. Amazing! You won’t be disappointed…

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