David Hockney Signed Prints & Originals
Biography for David Hockney (Born 1937)
David Hockney was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1937 to a working class family. David Hockney went on to have a prize-winning career as a student at the Royal College of Art. By his mid-20s, David Hockney had already become one of the most critically acclaimed contemporary artists in Britain. David Hockney has excelled in a variety of fields as a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, photographer and designer.
Although David Hockney rejected the label 'British Pop Art', much of his work contains references to popular culture and contains a good deal of humour, which was evident even in his earliest prints as a student in Bradford, such as his first lithograph print, done on stone 'Self Portrait' signed in the lower right hand corner David Hockney. Followed by lithograph print, 'Woman with a Sewing Machine' signed in the lower right hand corner David Hockney. And also done on stone; Lithograph print 'Fish and Chip Shop' signed in the lower right hand corner David Hockney.
David Hockney's first foray into etching began at the Royal College of Art. At his Diploma show in 1962, Mark Glazebrook who visited the show and went on to write 'David Hockney Paintings, prints and drawings 1960-1970' quotes "One of the main things that made me respond to his work with such enthusiasm from the moment I saw it at his Royal College Diploma Show in 1962, was its general air of irreverence and wit, combined one must admit with a certain low humour. Some of this early work drew on the language of graffiti, to make privacy semi-public: and without the slightest malice, it seemed to be deftly leapfrogging the various pedestals which were generally considered necessary at that time to bolster up the contemplation of art."
In these early works David Hockney's verbal or literary wit is to be found purely in the titles of his paintings, and also later in the relationship between the titles, which are sometimes written onto the painting, and the painting itself, which has appealed to that large and intelligent section of visual experience of art. Also, his underlying humour, in the sense that humour perhaps denotes something less intellectual and more sympathetic than wit, has enabled Hockney to get through to an even wider public, if not as an artist, at least as a personality whose art is closely tied up with his life.
The first etching David Hockney did in 1961 is the etching and aquatint print 'Myself and My Heroes' signed in lower right hand corner David Hockney. Followed by etching and aquatint print 'Fires of Furious Desire' signed in the lower right hand corner David Hockney. The inspiration for this being William Blake's 'The Flames of Furious Desire'. Also etched on zinc, the print; 'Alka Selzer' signed in pencil David Hockney. And print, 'Three Kings and a Queen' signed in pencil David Hockney and an edition on 50. Etching and aquatint print 'Kaisarion and All His Beauty' signed in pencil David Hockney; the source for this prints being a poem by Cavafy. The etching and aquatint print 'Gretchen and the Snurl' signed in pencil David Hockney and edition of 75, was the inspiration of a private narrative between two lovers who were friends of David Hockney. David Hockney's first 2 colour etching 'Mirror, Mirror on the wall' was inspired by the last two lines of Cavafy's poem 'The Mirror in the Hall'. 'Study for Rumpelstiltskin' was a small addition of 10 etching prints, signed in pencil David Hockney. This is David Hockney's version of The Grimm's story; in this etching the princess stands in the way of Rumpelstiltskin real love which is for the Prince.
At the end of his student days at the Royal College of Art David Hockney etched his own diploma. This etching and aquatint, edition of 40, signed in pencil David Hockney, depicts the figure of Sir Robin Darwin, Principal of the Royal College (supported by the adjacent half moon-a reference to Mr Moon the registrar) is seen upholding Michael Kullman of the General Studies Department. Meanwhile, five of David Hockney's fellow students are seen with heads bowed beneath the frame of the Diploma and the foot of the Principal. David Hockney etched his own diploma, having been threatened with not getting a real one because he had not complied with the requirements of the General Studies Department of the Royal College.
During his time at art school David Hockney travelled to New York, his first visit to the USA. There he was inspired to work on his own interpretation of the Rakes Progress. Setting it New York City he produced a series of excellent etchings. Some of the prints David Hockney etched in New York and Some David Hockney etched back at the Royal College of art. The first print in the series is 'The Arrival' signed in the lower right corner David Hockney. Followed by; 'Receiving the Inheritance', 'Meeting the Good People', 'The Gospel Singing (Good People) Madison Square Garden', 'The Start of the Spending spree and the Door Opening for a Blonde' 'The Seven Stone Weakling', The drinking Scene', 'Marries an Old Maid', 'The Election Campaign (with Dark Messages)', 'Viewing a Prison Scene', 'Death in Harlem', 'The Wallet Begins to Empty', 'Disintegration', 'Cast Aside', 'Meeting the other People' and 'Bedlam'. All these prints are signed in the lower right hand corner David Hockney.
David Hockney also etched at this time 'My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean'; in the print the attached collage is the head of George Washington from an American postage stamp. The letter P, in the shape of a hat, stands for Peter, his boyfriend at that time.
A visit to a Berlin art gallery in 1962 led David Hockney to draw some sketches which were to become the paintings; 'The First Marriage', 'The Second Marriage', and 'The Hypnotist'. And the two etchings; 'The Marriage' and 'The Hypnotist'. The idea behind these paintings and prints came about when David Hockney wandered off and lost his friend in the museum. David Hockney eventually caught sight of him standing at the end of a long corridor looking at something on a wall. David Hockney quotes "I saw him in profile. To one side of him, also in profile, was a sculpture in wood of a seated woman, a heavily stylized Egyptian. For a moment they seemed held together-like a couple posing. At first I was amused at the sight of them together; but later I made some drawings, incorporating both my friend and the sculpture." 'The Marriage' is also a "marriage of styles". 'The Hypnotist' came about because, David Hockney quotes "Having spent six months painting these figures linked together, I decided to paint another with two figures, but spaced far apart and not so obviously connected. To do this I had to invent a situation: I chose a hypnotist and his subject as my theme… a theatrical enough theme to place them in a concocted setting, having a figure at each end of the canvas. The connecting link is the large space in the middle of the canvas, necessary for the hypnotist to move his arms, to attract his subject." Both prints are signed David Hockney on the lower right hand side.
In 1963 David Hockney was able to afford another trip to the USA this time visiting California which inspired and thrilled him. The following etchings were worked on at this time. Hockney gently directs the context in which we see his pictures. Great care is taken with the titles. 'Jungle Boy', The Acrobat' and 'Edward Lear' are etching and aquatints (copper plate) prints, signed David Hockney lower right. 'Pacific Mutual Life' is a lithograph print, signed David Hockney in red crayon. 'Figure by a Curtain' and 'Still Life' are also lithograph prints, signed in pencil David Hockney. Four colours are introduced in lithograph prints 'Water Pouring into Swimming Pool', Santa Monica' and screen print 'Cleanliness is Next to Godliness'.
The most elaborate use of titles and frames within frames are in the six lithographs which comprise 'A Hollywood Collection'. David Hockney quotes "A kind of home-made art collection with bits of everything in it, a nude, an abstract, and a landscape and so on. I was working with a printer in Hollywood whose workshop was behind a framer's. He had all these marvellous frames in the window. I got interested in this trompe l'oeil thing-a picture of a thing within something else within something else".
As quoted by Mark Glazebrook in 'David Hockney Paintings, prints and drawings 1960-1970' "The subject of A 'Hollywood Collection' is not only a picture of a picture within a picture. It also takes account of what spectators miss in pictures. The beautifully executed lithography goes to the making of images whose banality serves the purpose of extracting any interest before the spectator gets the chance".
Each of the six lithograph prints that make up the collection are signed in pencil David Hockney. They are; lithograph print 'Picture of a Still Life that has an Elaborate Silver Frame'. Lithograph print 'Picture of a Landscape in an Elaborate Gold Frame'. Lithograph print 'Picture of a Portrait in a Silver Frame'. Lithograph print 'Picture of a Melrose Avenue in an Ornate Gold Frame'. Lithograph print 'Picture of a Simple Framed Traditional Nude Drawing'. Lithograph print 'Picture of a Pointless Abstraction Landscape Framed Under Glass'.
David Hockney's next set of etchings were inspired by the poems of C.P. Cavafy. The fourteen illustrations are based on some of Cavafy's finest works, which describe the casual pick-ups and short-lived affairs of his youth. The first in this series is etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'Portrait of Cavafy I'. Second in the series of prints is etching and aquatint (on copper) 'Two Boys aged 23 and 24'. Third in the series of etching and Aquatint prints (on copper) is 'He Enquired after the Quality'. Fourth etching and aquatint print (on copper) is 'To Remain'. The fifth print 'According to the Prescriptions of Ancient magicians' and the six print in the edition 'In an Old Book' are etchings on copper. The seventh print 'The Shop Window of a Tobacco Store' is an etching and aquatint (on copper). The eight print 'In the Dull Village' is an etching on copper. Ninth and tenth print 'The Beginning' and 'One Night' are etching and aquatints (on copper). Eleventh print 'In Despair' is an etching. The final two prints; 'Beautiful and White Flowers' and 'Portrait of Cavafy II' are etching and aquatints (on copper). They are an edition of 75 and all signed David Hockney.
In these 'Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy' David Hockney has not attempted to capture the seamy Alexandria of Cavafy's youth. What he gives is a direct observation of homosexual life in London.
Also published in 1967 was the lithograph and collage print 'Henry and Christopher'. Signed in pencil David Hockney.
In 1968 the etching 'Cushions' was published, made from the original painting 'Some Neat Cushions' which was exhibited in London in that same year. The literal titles continued with 'Tree' a lithograph print (on zinc) signed in pencil David Hockney. Lithograph print 'Rocks, Nevada' signed in pencil David Hockney. Lithograph print (on zinc) 'An Imaginary Landscape' signed in pencil David Hockney. Lithograph print (on zinc) 'Glass Table with Objects' signed in pencil David Hockney. Etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'Flowers and Vase' signed in pencil David Hockney. And etchings of friends; etching and aquatint print 'Kasmin Twice' and etching print (on copper) 'Ossy and Mo' both signed in pencil David Hockney.
1969 saw the publication of the magnificent 'Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm'. These exquisitely crafted etchings are true testament to David Hockney's brilliance as a master draughtsman. As David Hockney says "I'm not against coloured etchings but I've never liked too many coloured etchings, I always think etching is really a linear medium-the best etchings are line etchings".
The first etching in the series is of 'Catherina Dorothea Viehmann', known as the 'Fairy Tale Woman'. Fluent in both French and German, it is believed she was a great source of stories to the Brothers Grimm.
The story of 'The little Sea Hare' is illustrated by the etching and aquatint prints numbered two to five in the series; 'The Princess in Her Tower', 'The Boy Hidden in an Egg', 'The Boy hidden in a Fish' and 'The Princess Searching'. All signed in pencil David Hockney.
'Fundevogel' is the second story in the series of prints, numbered six to eleven. David Hockney quotes "With 'Fundevogel' it was the setting more than anything which I illustrated….more than the drama of the story." All are etching and aquatint prints (on copper) 'A Wooded Landscape', 'The Cook', 'The Pot Boiling', 'The Rose and the Rose Stalk', 'The Church Tower and the Clock', 'The Lake'. All signed in pencil David Hockney.
In the illustrations for 'Rapunzel' David Hockney has used the idea of the woman being so ugly nobody wants to sleep with her. David Hockney quotes "The thing was she was a virgin…I'm assuming… which is why I chose the Virgin and Child motif for her…..She is so ugly that no man would go to bed with her, so my drawing of her is done from Hieronymous Bosch's 'Madonna and Child'. But of course, I altered the face and made her ugly. She's got a beard…I had to add that. The intention is that if you look at it, it dawns on you that really it's a Virgin and Child." Numbered twelve to seventeen in the set, these etching and aquatint prints all signed in pencil David Hockney are; 'Rupunzel Growing in the Garden', 'The Enchantress in her Garden', 'The Enchantress with the Baby Rapunzel', 'The Older Rapunzel', 'The Tower had one Window', 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down your hair'.
For the next set of illustrations David Hockney chose 'The Boy who left Home to Learn Fear'. Mark Glazebrook asks him in an interview "I wondered if you were attracted to the story of 'The boy who left Home to Learn Fear' because of the phrase about flesh creeping. He wanted to learn to make his flesh creep. He thought it was a profession, didn't he?" David Hockney replies "Well, first of all the title attracted me straightaway, I think it's a terrific title for a story. But I mean many things attracted me about the stories." 'The Boy who left Home to Learn Fear' comprises of eleven etchings all signed in pencil David Hockney. The prints are numbers eighteen to twenty eight in the series as published in 'David Hockney paintings, prints and drawings 1960-1970' and 'David Hockney prints 1954-1995'. They are; etching print (on copper) 'Home'. Etching and aquatint prints (on copper) 'The Bell Tower', 'The Sexton Disguised as a Ghost', 'The Sexton Disguised as a Ghost Stood Still as Stone'. Etching and aquatint and drypoint print (on copper) 'Corpses on Fire'. Etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'The Haunted Castle'. Etching and aquatint and drypoint print (on copper) 'The carpenter's Bench, a Knife and Fire'. Etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'A Black Cat Leaping'. Etching, aquatint and drypoint print (on copper) 'The Lathe and Fire'. And etching and aquatint prints (on copper) 'Inside the Castle' and 'Cold Water About to Hot the Prince'.
Of 'Old Rinkrank', the next story in the series, David Hockney quotes "Most people who illustrate Grimms' illustrate on the whole, the drama of the stories and as I said I didn't really set out to do that, I set out, as it were, to simply pick the detail of the story and illustrate that. The glass mountain itself seems to be interesting more than the princess falling into it." Twenty nine to thirty three in the set they are; etching prints (on copper) 'The Glass Mountain' and 'Old Rinkrank Threatens the princess'. Etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'Digging up Glass'. Etching print (on copper) 'The Glass Mountain Shattered'. And etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'The Rescued Princess'.
The story of 'Rumpelstilzchen' David Hockney had already done previously, with his esoteric version a few years before. David Hockney quotes "I like the idea of turning the straw into gold". "And yes it is rather marvellous when Rumpelstiltskin rips himself apart, that's very gruesome. They really are very strange and wonderful stories really". These etching and aquatint prints are numbered thirty four to thirty nine in the series and comprise of; etching print (on copper) 'Gold'. Etching and aquatint print (on copper) 'A Room Full of Straw'. Etching print (on copper) 'Straw on the left' Gold on the Right'. Etching print (on copper) 'Pleading for the Child'. Etching, aquatint and drypoint print (on copper) 'Riding around on a Cooking Spoon'. And etching and aquatint print on copper 'He Tore Himself in Two'. All these prints are signed in pencil David Hockney.
In 1969 David Hockney also completed a simple but very striking etching 'Still Life' and some portrait etchings of friends such as; 'Celia', 'Peter', 'Wayne Sleep' and 'Portrait of Felix Mann', all signed bottom right in pencil David Hockney. The drypoint etching print 'W.H. Auden' was published in 1970.
David Hockney's prowess as a master draughtsman continued a pace, with inspirational trips to Los Angeles and Paris, further etchings and lithographs were created. 1971 saw lithograph prints 'Sofa 8501 Hedges Place Los Angeles', 'Coloured Flowers Made of Paper and Ink' and 'Flowers Made of Paper and Black Ink' being published and etching prints 'French Shop', 'Maurice Payne', 'Mo Asleep', 'Mo with Five Leaves' and 'Portrait of Richard Hamilton'. Each print is signed David Hockney lower right.
Popular print 'Rue de Seine' was published by Petersburg Press in 1972. A restful view through a French window, framed by curtains, a motif that runs through many of David Hockney's works. The curtains are either about to revel or conceal something. And also continue the theme and interest David Hockney has of putting a painting within a painting. David Hockney goes on to say "Another thing about them (the curtains) is that they are flat like a painting. I mean if you take the canvas off the stretcher it's like a curtain itself."
Also published that year; the still life print 'Panama Hat'. Portrait print etching 'The Restaurateur'. Etching and Lithograph print 'An Etching and a Lithograph for Editions Alecto'. Each print is signed lower right in pencil David Hockney.
Celia Birtwell, the great textile designer of the 60's and 70's, known for her distinctive bold, romantic and feminine designs, which drew influences from Picasso and Matisse, had been a muse for David Hockney since 1968. In 1973 the first lithograph prints of Celia were published 'Celia Smoking', signed in pencil David Hockney. 'Celia', signed in green crayon David Hockney and 'Celia 8365 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood', signed in red crayon David Hockney.
The great soaring palms of David Hockney's beloved California appeared that year in; 'Ten Palm Trees in the Mist', signed in red crayon David Hockney and 'Dark Mist', signed in pencil David Hockney. Followed by more interest in the weather with 'Small Study of Lightening', signed in pencil David Hockney. 'Study of Lightening Medium', signed in pencil David Hockney. 'Snow without Color', signed in pencil David Hockney. 'Weather Series-Sun', signed in red crayon David Hockney. 'Weather series-Rain', signed in green crayon David Hockney. 'Weather series-Mist', signed in blue crayon David Hockney. 'Weather series-Lightening', signed in red crayon David Hockney. 'Weather series- Snow', signed in green crayon David Hockney. 'Weather series-Wind', signed in red crayon David Hockney.
Still life prints and other portrait prints of 1973 are; 'Slightly Damaged Chair', 'Chair, 38 The Colony, Malibu', 'Still Life with Book', 'The Master Printer of Los Angeles', 'Two Peppers', 'Marguerites', 'Tulips' 'Gustave Flaubert', 'My Mother at the Age of Twenty (from a photograph) as a Study for Felicite in "A Simple Heart" of Gustave Flaubert', 'My Mother with Parrot'. All signed lower right hand corner David Hockney.
Also that same year David Hockney illustrates his interest in cubism and admiration for Pablo Picasso in etching print; 'The Student: Homage to Picasso' and soft ground etching prints; 'Simplified Faces State I' and 'Simplified Faces State II'. All signed in pencil David Hockney.
David Hockney continues his fascination and admiration for Picasso in 1974 with the soft ground etching print 'Artist and Model' signed in pencil David Hockney.
The studies of David Hockney's mother provide considerable evidence for Hockney's precocious technical skill and the tenderness of relationships that formed the emotional building blocks for a lifetime of friendships and artistic fruition. The depictions of his mother represent some of the finest images of older age. As shown in the three etching prints; 'My Mother Today: as a study for Felicite in "A Simple Heart" of Gustave Flaubert', 'Felicite sleeping with Parrot: Illustration for "A Simple Heart" of Gustave Flaubert', 'Geography Book (Felicite's Only View from Abroad): Illustration for "A Simple Heart" of Gustave Flaubert'.
From 1973-1975 David Hockney lived mostly in Paris. David Hockney quotes "I lived alone, although Gregory Evans, a friend from America was around the corner in the rue du Dragon"…. See 1974 etching; 'Gregory'. David Hockney continues. "I did a number of drawings of Celia at the time"…. See 1974 etching; 'Celia in a Wicker Chair'. 'Celia in a Wicker Chair' (black state). 'Celia Seated on an Office Chair' and 'Celia Seated on an Office Chair' (black state). David Hockney continues "I spent a lot of time at the Louvre and got to know it quite well"…. See 1974 etchings 'Contrejour in the French Style' and 'Two Vases in the Louvre'….."I lived quietly in Paris, drawing friends"….See 1974 Lithograph 'Yves Marie' and 1975 etching print 'Reclining Figure'…"I would get up in the morning and go and sit and read the English newspapers sitting in a café at the top of the street, and drink tea and eat that delicious bread and butter and then work. I would work until maybe 5 and then walk up to the Café Flore where I always met people I knew. There was always somebody there. In England you couldn't do that. I also used to go to the Museed'Art Moderne. I spent many hours in Brancusi's studio. I loved that room."
Other etching prints from that period are 'Showing Maurice the Sugar Lift', and 'Homage to Michelangelo'.
In his portraits David Hockney's love and admiration of his friends as subjects is conveyed to the viewer with a sense of great immediacy-see the economy of line in his 1976 lithograph portraits; 'Joe McDonald', signed lower left in blue crayon David Hockney. 'Gregory Evans' signed lower right in pencil David Hockney. 'Brooke Hopper', signed lower left in pencil David Hockney. 'Mo McDermott', signed lower left in pencil David Hockney. 'Nicholas Wilder', signed in pencil lower left David Hockney. 'Billy Wilder', signed lower right in red crayon David Hockney. 'Michael Crichton', signed lower right in red crayon David Hockney. 'Donald Cribb', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Peter Schlesinger', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Small Head of Gregory', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy', signed in pencil bottom centre David Hockney. 'Henry at Table' and 'Henry Seated with Tulips', both signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. And 'Henry with Cigar, signed lower right in blue crayon David Hockney.
When viewing David Hockney's portraits they express personal and heartfelt emotions with a tenderness that is a privilege to experience. The languid poses of Gregory in the 1976 lithographs evoke the intimate, tender relationship between the artist and subject. Lithograph print 'Gregory Reclining', signed lower left in blue crayon David Hockney. Lithograph print 'Gregory with Gym Socks', signed lower left David Hockney. Lithograph print 'Gregory Thinking of Henry', signed in red crayon lower left David Hockney.
Also published at this time the softground etching print 'For John Constable'. And the beautifully crafted Blue Guitar Series.
David Hockney spent the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, New York, with art curator Henry Geldzahler and poet Christopher Isherwood, reading the poems of Wallace Stevens. David Hockney especially loved the long poem entitled The Man with the Blue Guitar, which had been inspired by Picasso's painting The Old Guitarist of 1903. David Hockney had admired the works of Picasso for a long time, and he was excited by the way Stevens had woven an allusive and musical text around the theme of the interplay between reality and imagination.
David Hockney made a series of drawings inspired by the poem and owing a great debt to Picasso that summer, and then back in London he painted some small canvases continuing the theme. Dissatisfied with these, he decided to make a set of colored etchings instead which would stress the artist's freedom of imaginative response to reality and illusion. He gave them the title The Blue Guitar, etchings by David Hockney who was inspired by Wallace Stevens who was inspired by Pablo Picasso, and they were published both as a portfolio and as a book in spring 1977.
In his introductory note, David Hockney wrote, "The etchings themselves were not conceived as literal illustrations of the poem but as an interpretation of its themes in visual terms. Like the poem, they are about transformations within art as well as the relation between reality and the imagination, so these are pictures within pictures and different styles of representation juxtaposed and reflected and dissolved within the same frame."
The disparate images are not easy to read as interpretations of the poet's themes, but what holds them together is the continual reference to the example of Picasso. The etching Figures with Still Life shows a man measured up for perspective watching a cubist woman playing a mandolin. The man was taken from a photograph of Chico Marx and the woman from a Picasso painting of 1909. Both figures are just as real or unreal as each other. In Etching is the Subject, a pen draws Hockney's friend Gregory Evans and leaves blobs of ink behind. The pen and the portrait are illusions but the blobs are real. What is this Picasso? has a realistic curtain drawn back to reveal a stylized head which copies Picasso's 1937 portrait of Dora Maar. And in A Picture of Ourselves, a woman copied from a classical sculpture in a plate from Picasso's Vollard Suite of 1933 contemplates two images of herself, one a surrealist sculpture from another Vollard plate and the other a bestial image in a mirror derived from Picasso's Two Nudes on a Beach of 1937.
The Blue Guitar is a fascinating attempt to demonstrate the power of the imagination to question the world of appearances. The order the prints appear in are; 'The Blue Guitar, 1', 'The Old Guitarist, 2', 'A Tune, 3', 'It Picks its way, 4', 'Franco-American Mail, 5, 'Parade, 6', 'Discord Merely Magnifies, 7', 'The Buzzing of the Blue Guitar, 8', 'In a Chiaroscuro, 9', 'Figures with Still Life, 10', 'Made in April, 11', 'A Picture of Ourselves, 12', 'The Poet, 13', 'Etching is the Subject, 14', 'Tick It, Tock It, Turn It True, 15', 'I Say They are, 16', 'On It May Stay His Eye, 17', 'A Moving Still Life, 18', 'Serenade, 19' and 'What is This Picasso? 20'. All the prints are signed in pencil lower right David Hockney.
The Californian swimming pool was one of David Hockney's favourite subjects, indicating his love-affair with Los Angeles. When Hockney moved to California in the 1960s, he responded with such artistic depth to the sea, sun, sky, young men, and luxury that his art took on a wholly new, increasingly naturalistic dimension. 'A Bigger Splash' the famous painting by David Hockney, was made into a strangely beautiful and moving 70's documentary in which David Hockney and his friends moon and brood in archetypal 70's interiors, at fashion shows and beside swimming pools. In the painting the longing and emptiness and solitude all hang in the air as a body vanishes into the water. Though one might consider A Bigger Splash a simplistic rather than a simplified view of the world, it nevertheless creates a delightful interplay between the stolid pink verticals of a Los Angeles setting and the exuberance of spray as the unseen diver enters the pool. There is no visible human presence here, just that lonely, empty chair and a bare, almost frozen world. Yet that wild white splash can only come from another human, and a great deal of Hockney's psyche is involved in the mix of lucidity and confusion of this picture.
The lithograph etching prints of swimming pools done at this time also capture that same mood; 'Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines, a Green Wash, a Light Blue Wash, and a Dark Blue Wash', 'Lithograph of Water Made of Lines and a Green Wash', 'Lithograph of Water Made of Lines, a Green Wash, and a Light Blue Wash', 'Lithograph of Water Made of lines with Two Light Blue Washes', 'Lithograph of water Made of Thick and Thin lines and Two Light Blue washes', 'Lithographic of Water Made of Thick and Thin lines and a light Blue and a Dark Blue Wash', 'Lithographic Water Made of Lines, Crayon, and Two Blue Washes', 'Lithographic Water made of Lines', 'Lithographic Water Made of Lines and Crayon', 'Lithographic Water Made of Lines, Crayon, and a Blue Wash'. All the prints are signed in lower right in pencil David Hockney.
At this time David Hockney stayed for several weeks in New York to test new printing techniques. The result of this is the series of "Paper Pools", for which he uses dyed and pressed paper pulp. "The highly structured surfaces (of these works) would change his approach to painting" (M. Friedman, 1983). The bold and colorful Lithograph print 'Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book' was made, signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. The final 'swimming pool' print from the late 70's early 80's is lithograph; 'Afternoon Swimming', signed in white pencil lower right David Hockney.
Back in California after doing paper pools David Hockney worked on a series of lithographs of his friends Celia and Ann. He also picked up a reed pen and experimented with a thicker line. David Hockney quotes "These pens do not have a fine point and they make you draw a different way. Whatever you're medium is you have to respond to it. I have always enjoyed swapping mediums about. I usually follow it, don't go against it. I like using different techniques. If you are given a stubby brush you draw in a different way. That's what I do often: I deliberately choose a medium which forces me to change direction." This is evident in these lithograph prints from 1979 and 1980; 'Bora Bora' and 'Green Bora Bora', both signed David Hockney in pencil lower right. 'Ann Combing Her Hair', signed lower right in pencil David Hockney. 'A Lot of Ann Combing Her Hair 'and 'Ann Putting on Lipstick', both signed in red lower right David Hockney. 'Bryon on Hand', signed lower centre in pencil David Hockney. 'Study of Byron', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'The Commissioner', signed lower right in pencil David Hockney. 'Celia Weary', signed lower left David Hockney. 'Celia Amused', signed lower left David Hockney. 'Celia Inquiring', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Celia Elegant', signed lower left David Hockney. 'Celia Reclining', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Jerry Sohn', signed lower left in pencil David Hockney. 'Albert Clark', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Ann Seated in director's Chair', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Ann Seated in Director's Chair State I', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Joe with Green Window', signed in pencil lower left David Hockney. 'Johnny and Lindsay', signed in pencil lower left David Hockney. 'Two Vases of Cut Flowers and a Liriope Plant', signed in red pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Ann Looking at Her picture', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Black Tulips', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Potted Daffodils', signed in pencil lower left David Hockney. 'Celia in a Polka Dot Skirt', signed lower right in pencil David Hockney. 'Celia in an Armchair', signed in pencil lower left David Hockney. 'Celia with Green Plant', signed lower right in pencil David Hockney. 'William Burroughs', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'John Hockney', signed in red pencil upper right David Hockney. 'James', signed in pencil lower left David Hockney. 'Celia in the Directors Chair', signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. 'Celia Reading', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Celia Pondering, 1980', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Celia Looks', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Self Portrait', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Bill Burroughs, 1980', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Bill and James I, 1980', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Bill and James II, 1980', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Big Celia Print #1', signed lower right David Hockney. 'Big Celia Print #2', signed lower right David Hockney.
Following a inspirational journey around China, David Hockney and Stephen Spender illustrated a diary of the trip they took together, not just the famous sites - the Great Wall, the Temple of the jade Buddha, the magical landscape of Kweilin but the unexpected incidents of everyday Chinese life. Both discuss their meetings with contemporary Chinese poets and painters. David Hockney's photographs, drawings and watercolours are a unique revelation of China, while Spender discourses in rich prose. Together they provide a glimpse of this ever-mysterious land. The Lithograph print to accompany book is 'Red Square and the Forbidden City', signed lower right in pencil David Hockney.
In the early 1980's David Hockney started experimenting with photography. David Hockney quotes "I started to play with the Polaroid camera and began making collages….I made them quite complex…This very strongly rekindled my interest in cubism, and in Picasso's idea." Hockney's etching prints began to reflex this; 'House Doodle', 'Mexican Hotel Garden', 'The Marriage in Hawaii of David and Ann', 'Ann in the Studio', 'Harvard Etching'.
Also at this time David Hockney bought the Californian house he had originally been renting. David Hockney quotes "The first thing I did to the house I now own was to start painting it. I had it painted red and blue, the colours of my design for the Ravel L'Enfant et les sortileges-and the green was the green of nature outside the house……I then had the outside of the house painted. You can't see it from the road. If it could be seen from the road I wouldn't have had it painted like that." The 'Moving Focus' series of prints are from this period. David Hockney continues "I spent nearly two years making a lot of prints and very little else when my house in Hollywood was being repainted. I used all sorts of techniques. When you are making prints your mind starts thinking in layers; you are separating colours and thinking in layers."
'Conversation in the Studio' is the first of thirty lithograph prints from the 'Moving Focus' series. All our signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. The prints are as follows; 'Tyler Dining Room', 'Pembroke Studio Interior', 'Pembroke Studio with Blue Chairs and Lamp', 'Two Pembroke Studio Chairs', 'The Perspective Lesson', 'Amaryllis in Vase', 'Red Celia', 'Celia with Green Hat', 'Hotel Acatlan: First Day', 'Hotel Acatlan: Second Day', 'Hotel Acatlan: Two Weeks Later', 'Views of Hotel Well I', 'Views of Hotel Well II', 'Views of Hotel Well III'.
The Hotel Acatlan prints were done from sketches taken by David Hockney when he visited Mexico for his 'Hockney Paints the Stage' Exhibition. David Hockney quotes "I was driving with Gregory and David Graves to Oaxaca when the car broke down and we had to spend the night in a hotel in Acatlan. The hotel courtyard was very beautiful and I made a number of sketches there towards an oil painting. 'A Walk' (the print of this is 'Two Weeks Later' from the Moving Focus series) is not about a hotel, but about an attitude to space. At the same time as you acknowledge the spaces outside, you are still moving round in it. The longer you look, the more spatial it gets."
The remaining prints from the series are; 'Walking Past Two Chairs', 'An Image of Gregory', 'An Image of Celia', 'An Image of Celia, State I', 'An Image of Celia, State II', 'An Image of Celia study', 'Portrait of Mother I', , 'Portrait of Mother II', 'Portrait of Mother III', 'An Image of Ken', 'White Porcelain', 'A Picture of Two Chairs', 'Number One Chair', 'Caribbean Tea Time'.
After working intensely with Ken Tyler on all genres of printmaking they pushed the boundaries further by experimenting with electronic mediums. In 1986 David Hockney started working with the copying machine. David Hockney quotes "They were not reproduction but very complex prints in the way that a print is not a reproduction but is just itself. One is using printing techniques to construct an image, as in making a lithograph. When I made the discovery of how to use copying machines to make prints from no pre-existing image I was very, very excited."
The 'Home Made Prints' from 1986 were done in an explosive six months, developing from very simple things to highly complex prints. In order they are; 'Still Life with Curtains, March', 'Black Plant on Table, April 1986', 'Apples, Pears & Grapes, May 1986', 'Ian & Heinz, June 1986', 'Landscape with a Plant, July 1986', 'Celia with Guest, July 1986', 'Self-Portrait, July 1986', 'Flowers, Apple & Pear on a Table, July 1986', 'Man Looking for His Glasses, April 1986', 'Two Red Chairs, March 1986', 'Bowl of Fruit, April 1986', 'Red, Blue & Green Flowers, July 1986', 'Waving, April 1986', 'Man Reading Stendahl, July 1986', 'Livingroom & Terrace, July 1986', 'Walking, June 1986', 'Grey Blooms, May 1986', Celia with Chair, March 1986', 'Dancing Flowers, May 1986', 'Mulholland Drive, June 1986', 'The Round Plate, April 1986', ' The Red Chair, April 1986', 'The Drooping Plant, June 1986', 'The Red Pot, April 1986', 'Three Black Flowers, May 1986', 'The Tall tree, September 1986', 'Growing, June 1986', 'Two Red Chairs and Table, March 1986', ' Green Grey & Blue Plant, July 1986', 'Stanley in a Basket, October 1986', 'Stanley at 8 Weeks, October 1986', 'Office Chair', 'The Tree, November 1986'. Each Home made print is signed lower right David Hockney.
In the early 1980's David Hockney began to lose his hearing. David Hockney quotes "My awareness of my loss of hearing coincided with my irritation at spatial flatness. I see it very clearly". Also at this time figures began to disappear from his paintings. David Hockney continues "The human 'clay' is not there, literally, not in the same way as before, but the mind is. What it is about is this awareness that there are not these two separate things, representation and abstraction. You can have the feeling of the human presence. What happens when artists use space with their imaginations is an attempt to pull you, the spectator, in, to make you the figure in the picture".
By 1988 David Hockney was almost permanently at home, in his Malibu house by the sea or driving up to his studio in the Hollywood hills, his paintings and prints of this time reflect this. David Hockney quotes"I began exploring the Santa Monica Mountain.....At one side of my house is the pacific Coast Highway; at the other is the beach. When I am painting in my studio I am aware of nature, in its infinity, and of the sea endlessly moving." He was also continuing to play with spatial ideas. The following abstract lithograph prints were published in 1990. Each one is signed lower right in pencil David Hockney. 'Four Flowers in Still Life', 'White lines Dancing in Printing Ink', 'The Wave, A Lithograph', 'Rampant', 'The New and the Old and the New', 'Twelve Fifteen', 'Table flowable'.
1991 saw the publishing of the three lithographs; 'Eine' (part 1). 'Deux' (second part). 'Tres' (end of triple). Each signed lower right David Hockney.
The vibrant, abstract set of Lithograph screenprints 'Some New Prints' were published in 1993. In order they are; 'Slow Forest', 'Ink in the Room', 'Four Part Splinge', 'Blue Hang Cliff', 'Going Out', 'Warm Start', 'Gorge d'incre', 'Above and Beyond', 'Pushing Up', 'Going Round', 'Slow rise', 'Catherine's Walk'. Each is signed lower right David Hockney.
"Playing around with spatial ideas" was also evident in the prints that David Hockney did of his beloved Dachshund Stanley. David Hockney quotes "In late Picasso paintings what was always strongest, or began to get strong to me, was a sense of removing distance; there is a definite feeling of closeness to things. If you look at a figure in one of the late Picasso paintings, you think, how far am I from the figure?" The three etching and aquatint prints which were published in 1995 are; 'Small Dogs', 'Vertical Dogs' and 'Horizontal Dogs'. Each is signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. And in 1995 etching and aquatint prints 'Sunflower I' and 'Sunflower II'. Both signed in pencil lower right David Hockney.
After completing the set designs for the opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten David Hockney started painting 'Some Very New Paintings'. David Hockney quotes "I used colours that were more luminous than before. I experimented, mixed up media myself, stand oil, turpentine, so I could put washes, glazes of colour that make the paintings vibrant…… I was painting in the small room in Malibu and I think I was making flowing movements….there is a beach and the sea…what seems to dominate, is not the horizon…but the edge of the sea, which is alive, forever moving. The paintings began to develop themselves….I began to see that I was making internal landscapes." In 1993 the three-dimensional looking color laser printed photographs from this period were produced; 'Painted Environment I' 'Painted Environment II' 'Painted Environment III'. Mounted on archival board and signed lower right David Hockney. And Digital inkjet prints 'The Studio March 16th 1995' and 'The Studio March 28th 1995'. Both signed in pencil lower right David Hockney. The series of digital inkjet prints 'Snails Space' appeared in 1995; 'First Detail. Snail Space March 25th 1995', 'Second Detail. Snail Space March 25th 1995', 'Third Detail. Snail Space March 25th 1995', 'Fourth Detail. Snail Space March 25th 1995', 'Fifth Detail. Snail Space March 25th 1995'.
David Hockney once again did a series of etchings of his favorite dogs with a monochrome series called 'Dog Wall. Recent Etchings 15'. They comprise of close ups of one or a pair of Dachshunds lying in their basket or on the sofa, they are; 'Dog Wall No 1. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 2. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 3. Recent Etchings 15'', 'Dog Wall No 4. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 5. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 6. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 7. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 8. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 9. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 10. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 11. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 12. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 13. Recent Etchings 15', 'Dog Wall No 14. Recent Etchings 15' and 'Dog Wall No 15. Recent Etchings 15'. All signed in pencil lower right David Hockney.
1998 also saw the publication of etching and aquatint prints 'Van Gogh Chair Black. Recent Etchings no 1' and 'Van Gogh Chair White. Recent Etchings no 3'. These two prints were etched after the original painting 'Van Gogh Chair' homage to Van Gogh on the centenary of his arrival in Arles. David Hockney has done the original and the etching prints in reverse perspective. In the etching prints he has added Van Gogh's pipe. The removal of distance is also evident in the other etching prints published in this series called 'Recent Etchings'. 'Peonies in a glass Vase. Recent Etchings 2'. 'Black Wire Plant. Recent Etchings 4'. 'Homemade Etching. Recent Etchings 5'. 'Wooden Stool with Book. Recent Etchings 6'. 'Chair with red Book on Carpet. Recent Etchings 7'. 'Cacti on Terrace. Recent Etchings 8'. 'Red Wire Plant. Recent Etchings 9'. 'Steel Stool with Newspaper. Recent Etchings 10'. 'Brenda'. Recent Etchings 11'. 'Soft Celia'. Recent Etchings 12'. 'Maurice. Recent Etchings 13'. 'Brenda with a Cigarette. Recent Etchings 14'.
David Hockney had never been shy of experimenting with every visual medium available to him. Photography was something he became increasingly interested in through the 1970's and by the beginning of the 1980's he had written a book on the subject 'Camera Works'.
1976 saw the publication of 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. Each is signed lower right DH. The Edition size is eighty. They comprise of; 'Tidied up Beach' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Peter Washing' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Still Life with Hats' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Henry avoiding the Sun' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Pretty Tulips' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Hollywood Window' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Sur Le Motif' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Jean in The Luxembourg Gardens' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Tennis Court' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'The Pacific' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'A Neat Window' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Peter Showering' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Two Lemons and Four Limes' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Pink House' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'My Parents' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Yves Marie Asleep' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'John St Clair Swimming' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. 'Herrenhausen' from 'Twenty Photographic Pictures by David Hockney'. Also from 1976 the unrecorded photographic work; 'Untitled (Diving Board)' edition twenty five. Signed.
David Hockney's magnificent photo collages began to appear in the early 80's. When talking about the magnificent photo collage 'Grand Canyon Looking North' David Hockney quotes "I took a lot of pictures of the grand Canyon when I went there in the autumn of 1982. I used a little Pentax camera. When we got back I began to realize that this was a whole new area to explore. Because I hadn't seen the image immediately-as I would have done if I used a Polaroid-I had to remember what I had done. Memory became an important part of the process. I got quite excited and began to explore the idea. The 'Scrabble Game' was done when my mother was visiting for Christmas. It was while I was doing this piece that I saw I was using narrative for the first time, using a new dimension of time." David Hockney goes on to say about the piece 'Walking in the Zen Garden' at Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto, Feb, 21 1983, "I went to Japan with Gregory to give a lecture on the uses of paper in art. While we were there I took a number of pictures, keeping notes for very complex photo-pieces, which I put together when I got back. For 'Walking in a Zen Garden', I took more than 160 photographs. When I first pieced them together I thought I had made a photograph without perspective." Other photo collages from this period are; 'An Evening at Christopher's Dec 1982'. 'My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Nov 1982'. 'The Grand Canyon, Arizona with my Shadow, Oct 1982'. 'Graffiti Palace, New York, December 1982'. 'Ann and David, Central Park, New York'. 'Celia Making Tea (N.Y. Dec 1982)'. 'The Brooklyn Bridge, Nov 28th 1982'. 'Joe Macdonald in his Apartment, New York, Dec 1982'. 'Mother, Los Angeles, Dec 82'. 'Billy Wilder Lighting his Cigar'. 'Gregory and Shinro on the train to Nara, Feb 1983'. 'Luncheon at The British Embassy, Feb 1983, Tokyo'. 'The Crossword Puzzle Minneapolis, January 1983'. 'Sitting in the Zen Garden at The Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto'. 'The Giant Buddha, Feb 18, Nara'. 'Christopher Isherwood talking to Bob Holman, Los Angeles, march 14th 1983'. 'Ashtray, Sunday Morning, Tokyo, February 1983'. 'Paul explaining pictures to Mie kakigahara, Tokyo'. 'Nude 17th June 1984'.
In 1993 the color laser printed photographs mounted on archival board was published 'Kyoto 24 April 1993'. Signed lower right David Hockney.
David Hockney has created many original and printed works using a photocopier, the fax machine, TV screens and Apple and Mackintosh computers. He continues to explore the technological mediums of today and is currently experimenting with works using the iPad.
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