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Portrait 'Self'

© The Ruth Borchard Collection. Photo credit: Ruth Borchard Collection

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In 1958, Hodgson wrote to Borchard: ‘I am not a portrait painter in the conventional sense. However, I often paint abstract portraits, and I do have a recent “self portrait” titled “Self”!’ Self’s primitivised form, raw edges and lumpen textures, find parallels in 1950s’ bronzes of the human form. But it also looks back to far more radical French artists of the 1940s and early 1950s, such as Dubuffet and Fautrier. Painted in oil on canvas, it evokes textures and materials such as weathered rock or roughcast concrete. There is something barren, inhuman even, yet also bizarrely comic. The softness of human skin has been replaced by harsh black and grey matière. Yet, the glowing yellow background of 'Self' brings a healing accent to the picture.


Portrait 'Self'




oil on canvas


H 71.5 x W 71.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Ruth Borchard as part of the original collection

Work type



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The Ruth Borchard Collection

Greater London England

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