David Hockney, OM CH RA (b. 1937)

Hockney studied at Bradford School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He first gained attention and national fame even before he graduated from the Royal College in 1962. During his time at the RCA Hockney won a gold medal and the Guinness award for Etching in 1961. He was awarded a prize in the junior section of the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1961 and in the Graphics Section of the Paris Biennale in 1963. Exhibited as a pop artist with a one-man show at the Kasmin Gallery in 1963. He was given a retrospective exhibition of Paintings, Prints and Drawings 1960-70 at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1970. Hockney has been perpetually in the limelight and has gained a reputation for his success in drawings, witty etchings, double portraits and inventive photo collages. A major retrospective covering all aspects of his work was held at Tate Britain in 2017.

David Hockney, OM CH RA (b. 1937), Self Portrait, July 1986, 1986


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Handmade print in colours executed on a colour copier machine, on two sheets of Arches Text paper
signed and dated in pencil, numbered 15/60; published by the artist, with his blind-stamp, the full sheet, in the artist’s specified gilded wooden frame
21 ¾ x 8 ½ in (27.6 x 21.3 cm)

Collection: With The Andre Emmerlich Gallery, New York when bought by the previous owner in the late 1980’s
Literature: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Hockney Prints 1996 (295); Selected literature (Different editions illustrated): Knoedlers Hockney, Home Made Prints 1986 (6); Odakyu Gallery, Tokyo Hockney 1989 (70); Brussels, Palais Des Beaux -Arts Hockney 1992 (50); M. Livingstone David Hockney 1996 (187);D. Hockney and P. Joyce Hockney on Art 1999 (p.157); M. Livingstone Hockney’s Portraits 2003 (p.37); Boston MFA Hockney Portraits 2006 (69); Dulwich Picture Gallery Hockney Printmaker 2014(94); National Portrait Gallery Hockney, Drawing From Life 2023 (p.175)

In February 1986 while working on Opera designs Hockney began experimenting with photocopiers to produce what he described as’’ home -made prints’’. Employing traditional printmaking processes and using high quality Arches paper the artist fed the sheets through an office photo copier until each colour had been added. In addition he also placed his vividly striped shirt on the machine. As the Catalogue of the Morgan Library’s edition of the print says ‘’though created with modern technology the image has a playful directness that reveals the artist’s hand’’.
For Hockney the process was revelatory: ‘’With these copying machines, I can work by myself-indeed you virtually have to work by yourself , there’s nothing for anyone else to do- and I can work with great speed and responsiveness. In fact, this is the closest I’ve ever come in printing to what its like to paint: I can put something down, evaluate it, alter it, revise it, all in a matter of seconds’’ (LACMA, Metropolitan, Tate Hockney Retrospective 1988 p.78).

There are other editions of this print in LACMA and The Morgan Library, New York.

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