Hodgkin's first solo show was in London in 1962. His early paintings tend to be made up of hard-edged curved forms in a limited number of colours.
Around the beginning of the 1970s, his style became more spontaneous, with vaguely recognisable shapes presented in bright colours and bold forms. His works may then be called "semi-abstract", and are often compared to the paintings of Henri Matisse.
In 1984, Hodgkin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, in 1985 he won the Turner Prize, and in 1992 he was knighted. In 1995, 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 colourful, 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 Honour. A major exhibition of his work was mounted at Tate Britain, London, in 2006. Also in 2006, The Independent declared him one of the 100 most influential gay people in Britain, as his work helps many people express their emotions to others.