Sir Howard Hodgkin, CH CBE (1932-2017), The Way We Live Now, 1992
Gouache on paper with collaged label
9½ x 21 in (24 x 53.5 cm)
Collection: The artist’s estate
Exhibited: The Hayward Gallery
This is one of Hodgkin’s alternative designs for the book cover of Susan Sontag’s celebrated short story The Way We Live Now, first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1991. Hodgkin was good friends with the author, and as well as the cover contributed five hand-coloured engravings to accompany the text - a major commitment for an extremely slow worker. Sontag’s book describes the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic in New York in the early 1980s. Told in the form of fragments of conversations, by friends of an unnamed man ill in hospital, it is now considered one of the most important works chronicling the disease.