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"Hockney Graphics 1965 - 1995"
2004-05-12 until 2004-06-19
Leslie Sacks Fine Art
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

David Hockney has worked in a wide variety of media including painting, graphics, photography and theater design as well as a versatile selection of subject matter ranging from famous portraits to the swimming pools and landscapes of Southern California. This exhibition at Leslie Sacks Fine Art highlights Hockney's graphic work between 1965 and 1995, during which time he experimented with various distinctive styles.

David Hockney's simplified still lives made during the mid-1960's were a rebellion against his academic training - such as his work, A PICTURE OF A STILL LIFE THAT HAS AN ELABORATE SILVER FRAME, from "A HOLLYWOOD COLLECTION" 1965. However Hockney, known as a draftsman, embraced his highly refined academic drawing style during the 1970's with such acclaimed portraits as CELIA, 8365 MELROSE AVENUE. 1973.(shown above) By the mid-90's, Hockney was making fully abstract color oriented works wherein he experimented with intense color fields producing op-art like effects. GOING ROUND from "SOME MORE NEW PRINTS" 1993 is an excellent example.

One of the most widely acclaimed of all living artists, Hockney's popularity is based on the enormous, continuing appeal of his pictures and the popular perception of him as a colorful extrovert. Hockney has worked in a wide variety of media including painting, graphics, photography and theater design as well as a versatile selection of subject matter ranging from famous portraits to landscapes of southern California.

Hockney was born in Yorkshire, England in 1937. Hockney first came to public prominence in the early sixties, as a post-graduate student of painting at the Royal College of Art in London. He experimented with numerous styles and became one of the most important portraitists of his era, renowned for depictions of family and people he met in his extensive travels. His work demonstrates a wish to uphold the human figure as a fit subject of painting, as well as an interest in imagery drawn from the urban environment. Despite his shouting 'I am not a Pop artist' during a private view party in 1962, Hockney's student work is conventionally seen as contributing to the development of Pop Art in Britain.

In 1964, Hockney moved to Los Angeles. In that year a swimming pool first appeared in the seminal painting, The California Collector, and Hockney continued to paint the subject passionately. In these early water pictures, Hockney was influenced by the abstract, interlocking puzzle-piece surface of Jean Dubuffet's work. Hockney's early pool water was stylized in a flat, modern manner in which looping spaghetti like lines complicate the notion of moving water. Over the next several years, portraiture and photography primarily occupied the artist, and he developed an intimate and powerful naturalism in this period.

Hockney abandoned painting for a time in the mid-seventies to concentrate on drawing and print-making. Not many paintings were produced during the early eighties either, the artist preferring to spend his time constructing collages from photographs. These photo-collages were recently exhibited in a retrospective of the artist's photography at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Hockney's originality as a printmaker was apparent by the time he produced A Rake's Progress, a series of 16 etchings conceived as a contemporary and autobiographical version of William Hogarth's visual narrative. Hockney's large body of graphic work, concentrating on etching and lithography, in itself assured him an important place in modern British art, and in series inspired by literary sources such as Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C. P. Cavafy, Illustrations for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, and The Blue Guitar, he did much to revive the tradition of the livre d'artiste. IMAGE
David HOCKNEY (b. 1937)
Horizontal Dogs, 1995
Etching and aquatint
22 1/2 x 25 inches, Arches watercolor paper
Edition of 80 + 15 proofs
Signed and dated in pencil lower right, numbered lower
left. With the artist's blindstamp.

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