Forum Auctions: The Master and The Muse

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David Hockney, ‘Made in April (M.C.A. Tokyo 188)’, 1976-77, Forum Auctions

Signed and numbered from the edition of 200 in pencil, on wove paper, as included in the portfolio The Blue Guitar, published by Petersburg Press, London and New York, with full margins, 525 x 456mm (20 5/8 x 18in) (unframed)

In 1976, Hockney spent the summer in New York where he discovered a collection of poems by Wallace Stevens. He found the poem 'The Man with the Blue Guitar' particularly captivating. This poem was in fact inspired by Steven's encounter with Pablo Picasso's famous The Old Guitarist in 1936. For the poet, the blue guitar and its music become symbols for artistic creativity. It is of little surprise then, that the young Hockney drew rich inspiration from both iconic works. Shortly thereafter he produced ten drawings that interpreted both the poem and Picasso's style in his own way. The present portfolio is the result, which bears the fitting title: “The Blue Guitar, etchings by David Hockney, who was inspired by Wallace Stevens, who was inspired by Pablo Picasso”.

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About David Hockney

A pioneer of the British Pop Art movement in the early 1960s alongside Richard Hamilton, David Hockney gained recognition for his semi-abstract paintings on the theme of homosexual love before it was decriminalized in England in 1967. In We Two Boys Clinging Together (1961), red-painted couples embrace one other while floating amidst fragments from a Walt Whitman poem. After moving to California at the end of 1963, Hockney began painting scenes of the sensual and uninhibited life of athletic young men, depicting swimming pools, palm trees, and perpetual sunshine. Experimenting with photography in the mid-1970s, Hockney went on to create his famous photocollages with Polaroids and snapshot prints arranged in a grid formation, pushing the two-dimensionality of photography to the limit, fragmenting the monocular vision of the camera and activating the viewer in the process. A versatile artist, Hockney has produced work in almost every medium—including full-scale opera set designs, prints, and drawings using cutting-edge technology such as fax machines, laser photocopiers, computers, and even iPhones and iPads.

British, b. 1937, Bradford, United Kingdom, based in Yorkshire, United Kingdom