After finishing his education, Howard Hodgkin taught at the Charterhouse School in Surrey for two years (1954-1956). This was followed by posts at the Bath Academy of Art (1956-1966) and the Chelsea School of Art (1966-1972). Howard Hodgkin’s first painting was 'Memoirs' (1949) which although stylistically is very different from his later works, does hint at some of the themes he was to investigate later on, specifically the concept of memory and their collections of emotions. He had his first one man show with Arthur Tooth & Sons in London in 1962, when he was thirty. He was searching for new ways to convey his perception of reality, for example, 'Mrs K.' (1966-1967) describes the idea of a person rather than an exact replication of the image of a person. He uses bright colours and frequently incorporates traditional wooden frames into the painting.
Around the beginning of the 1970's, Howard Hodgkin's style became more spontaneous, with vaguely recognisable shapes presented in bright colours and bold forms. Painting on small-scales at first, he began producing much bigger works in the 1980’s, and built a reputation as one of the finest colorists in contemporary art. In 1980, Howard Hodgkin was invited by John Hoyland to exhibit work as part of the Hayward Annual at the Hayward Gallery along with Gillian Ayres, Basil Beattie, Terry Setch, Anthony Caro, Patrick Caulfield, Ben Nicholson and others. With later paintings such as 'Egypt' (1983-1984), Howard Hodgkin became more open as he travelled extensively and experimented with new ways of representing the natural world. New York became a very formative place for his career. In 1984, Hodgkin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. In 1985, he won the Turner Prize, and in 1992 he was knighted.
In 1995, Howard Hodgkin printed the Venetian Views series, which depict the same view of Venice at four different times of day. Venice, Afternoon - one of the four prints - uses sixteen sheets, or fragments, in a hugely complex printing process which creates a colorful, painterly effect. This piece was given to the Yale Centre of British Art in June 2006 by the Israel family to complement their already-impressive collection of Hodgkins.
In 2003, he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as a Companion of Honor. A major exhibition of his work was mounted at Tate Britain, London, in 2006.
In September 2010, Howard Hodgkin and five other British artists including John Hoyland, John Walker, Ian Stephenson, Patrick Caulfield and R.B. Kitaj were included in an exhibition entitled The Independent Eye: Contemporary British Art From the Collection of Samuel and Gabrielle Lurie, at the Yale Center for British Art.
Howard Hodgkin aims to take snapshots from a person's life and represent the fleeting thought, movement or feeling in his painting. His favorite subjects include the interior, the portrait and scenes from everyday life. "I would like to paint pictures where people didn't care what anything was, because they were so enveloped by them." Howard Hodgkin