David Hockney - Limited Edition Prints

Tanya Baxter Contemporary
Jan 3, 2019 11:35AM

David Hockney - iPad drawing untitled, 516, 2010, 8 color inkjet print on cotton-fibre archival paper, 56 x 43.18 cm, edition of 250, signed verso

David Hockney - iPad drawing, untitled, 329 [Lilacs], ink-jet print on cotton-fibre archival paper, 56 x 43.18 cm, edition of 250, signed verso

A Bigger Book, Taschen's Sumo-sized David Hockney monograph is a spectacular stock of more than 60 years of Hockney's work. From his teenage days at Bradford School of Art, through his breaktrhough in 1960s Swinging London, life by Los Angeles Pools in the 1970s, up to his recent extensive series of portraits, iPad drawings and Yorkshire landscapes.

Hockney's images unfurl in a blaze of blues, pinks, greens, and oranges, we are spellbound by the artist's vibrancy as a colorist and his extraordinary sense of the conditions of the world that surrounds us. Through his restless interrogation of perception and representation, we witness the mellow sheen of light on a muddy Yorkshire puddle, the ochre enormities of A Bigger Grand Canyon, the rustic majesty of Bigger Trees near Warter. These are joined by the artist's drawings, photo-composites, multi-perspective collages, stage designs, multi-camera video works, and iPad drawings, each a panoply of looking and showing in different styles and media.

David Hockney - Celia, 8365 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, 1973, lithograph, edition of 46, 121 x 80.5 cm

Hockney first encountered Picasso's work on a visit to London as an art student in 1954, and when an important Picasso show was mounted at the Tate in 1960, Hockney, then a student at the Royal Academy of Art, visited the exhibition eight times. Yet in spite of this early enthusiasm it was not until the 1970s that the first pictorial references to the Spanish master started to appear in his paintings and prints.

When Picasso died in 1973 Hockney was invited to contribute a print to the porfolio Homage to Picasso. Deciding to make an etching he went to the studio of Aldo Crommelynck, Picasso's master printer, in Paris. It was under Crommellynck's tutelage that Hockney learnt about the sugar lift aquatint, a method used extensively by Picasso, as well as colour etching techniques which he would use later in The Blue Guitar to great effect.

Having long intended to experiment with Cubism, it was the discovery in 1976 of a poem inspired by Picasso's painting The Old Guitarists (1930) by the American poet Wallace Stevens which would lead to Hockney's great early homage to the Spanish master's art, The Blue Guitar.

'I read Wallace Steven's poem in the summer of 1976. 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 and different styles of representation juxtaposed and reflected and dissovled within the same frame.'

In The Blue Guitar Hockney began a dialogue with the language of cubism which would inform much of his work throughout the 1980s.

Tanya Baxter Contemporary