British abstract painter Sir Howard Hodgkin has died in a London hospital, aged 84.

The artist – who many considered to be the great British painter alive – won the second-ever Turner Prize in 1985, and was knighted in 1992.



He was also made a Companion of Honour in 2002, after four decades of solo displays.

In 2006, he was included in the top 50 of the annual Pink List of influential gay and lesbian Brits.

Hodgkin battled depression, and almost died by suicide in the early 60s.

He married a woman despite knowing he was gay and became a teacher in Wiltshire to support his family, only to later get a divorce and become a full-time artist, following his heart in both cases.

Hodgkin leaves behind his children and partner of three decades, music writer Antony Peattie.

He carried on painting prolifically almost up to his death, and his work will be displayed at major exhibitions for a while to come.

Last year he revealed 24 new paintings at New York’s Gagosian Gallery and made a print for publication in a book about Lord Byron.

Two exhibitions of his creations are set to open in Britain in the coming months.

Hodgkin’s works are still shown in major galleries and museums around the globe, including the Tate, the British Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota said he was “one of the great artists and colourists of his generation”, the BBC has reported.

“His sensuous, intense paintings were infused with his love and understanding of late 19th-Century French painting, especially Degas, Vuillard and Bonnard, and by his feeling for the heat and colours of India, which he visited on many occasions.

“His characteristic subject, the memory of a meeting or a conversation with a friend, resulted in paintings that radiate the emotions of life: love, anger, vanity, beauty and companionship.”

In a tweet, the Royal College of Art said it was “saddened by the news that one of the painters of our generation – who gave us emotion in the form of colour – Howard Hodgkin, has died.”

Others, including the Barbican Centre and heartbroken fans, have paid tribute to the late painter.

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