History And Context
Measuring over 8ft by 20ft, As Time Goes By is Howard Hodgkin’s most ambitious and complex work to date. These two prints are the largest works ever made by Hodgkin and the largest etchings ever made by any artist. The ten panels incorporate sugar-lift aquatint, carborundum embossing, and hand-painting in acrylic. The overall composition was planned on separate sheets of hand-torn paper, placed side by side on the floor, and then painted by Hodgkin.
This major work is named after the song, As Time Goes By (1931) made famous by the film, Casablanca (1942). Hodgkin created As Time Goes By while suffering from a condition that depleted his strength. When asked about its scale, he explained: “They're big to show that I can do it, despite everything. It's not a very noble reason, but having been ill with this extremely sinister illness, I felt challenged…It's the last time I'll do anything like this…its hard work.”