Monday, April 25, 2011

David Hockney Vintage Posters - A Colorful Timeline

David Hockney, Mount Fuji and Flowers,
Offset Lithographic Poster
Artist David Hockney has continued to be an innovative artistic force since the beginning of his career in the 1960s. Although Hockney has always denied being a part of the Pop Art Movement, Hockney is often included under this heading because of the vibrancy of his palette, though he never adopted the iconographic subject matter of the Pop Artists. David Hockney's affiliation with the Pop Artists is mostly by association, and seems more to do with his friendships with peers like Andy Warhol, whom he met in New York in 1961, than Hockney's artwork.

David Hockney, Paper Pool #7, Off-Set Lithographic Poster
Taking a look at the time-line of David Hockney's exhibition, museum, and art posters, we get a good sense of the development Hockney's unique aesthetic and painting style over the years. After completing his training at the Royal College of Arts in London, Hockney's art had adopted a deliberately rough and rudimentary style which Hockney owed a great deal to artists Jean Dubuffet and Francis Bacon. Hockney was in a phase of rapid self-discovery on both artistic and personal levels. David Hockney was coming to terms with his own sexuality while at the same time searching for an artistic style.
David Hockney, A Bigger Splash,
Off-Set Lithographic Poster
After his first trip to Los Angeles in 1964, Hockney returned to England set to work on a series of prints and paintings that reflected his American experiences. David Hockney began to incorporate acrylic paint in his art, and Hockney created his first series of stylized Southern Californian landscapes as well as his first swimming pool paintings. One of Hockney's most noted swimming pools is "A Bigger Splash," 1967, which is now a part of the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery, London and the title of a documentary about Hockney that was released in 1974. David Hockney had always fantasized about living in Los Angeles: “Within a week of arriving there in this strange big city, not knowing a soul, I'd passed the driving test, bought a car, driven to Las Vegas and won some money, got myself a studio, started painting, all within a week. And I thought, it's just how I imagined it would be.” In 1978 David Hockney experimented with a process of moulding colored paper pulp, producing a series of twenty-nine Paper Pools. Hockney's "Paper Pools" were greatly influenced by Van Gogh.

David Hockney, Photocollages, Off-set Lithographic Poster

David Hockney, XVI RIP Arles,
Offset Lithographic Poster

During the 1970's David Hockney made his first photomontage or photo collage artworks, which Hockney referred to as "Joiners". David Hockney was greatly inspired by the art of Pablo Picasso particularly Picasso's Cubist Period, and Hockney saw photography and his Polaroid composites as a new investigation of Cubism and pictorial space. David Hockney explored the use of the camera, making composite images of Polaroid photographs arranged in a rectangular grid. Later Hockney used regular 35-millimetre prints to create photo-collages, compiling a 'complete' picture from a series of individually photographed details. In 1985 Hockney lectured on his photographic experimentation at the prestigious Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles.

David Hockney, Parade,
Off-set Lithographic Poster

During the mid 1970's Hockney embraced the challenge of a new medium, creating a number of designs for various Theatrical productions in London and New York. As a young child, David Hockney had developed an obsession with opera when he first saw the Carl Rosa opera company's production of La Bohème, and Hockney was ecstatic to bring his two passions together. From 1975 - 1993 Hockney produced set and costume designs for:
'The Magic Flute' 1978, 
'Parade' 1981, 
'Oedipus Rex' 1981,
'Tristan und Isolde' 1986,
'Die Frau Ohne Schatten' 1991,
and 'Turandot' 1993.

David Hockney, A Bigger Grand Canyon,
Offset Lithographic Poster

Nichols Canyon
Lithographic Poster

Continuing to be influenced by American culture and the natural landscapes found in California and the Western United States, David Hockney's vivid palette became more striking and beautiful and in 1980 David Hockney painted "Nichols Canyon" after a well known canyon in the Hollywood Hills. In 1982 David Hockney traveled with friends through the American West and Hockney was inspired to create a large photocollage of the Grand Canyon. "A Bigger Grand Canyon" is one of David Hockney's most celebrated artworks, rich with brilliant colors that capture the cascading landscape of the Arizona desert.

David Hockney, Hotel Well III,
Offset Lithographic Poster

During the 1980's David Hockney's palette became imbued with an array of saturated and vibrant colors making Hockney's artwork both dramatic and enticing. During a trip down to Mexico City, David Hockney was moved by the courtyard landscape of his Hotel in Acatlan, Mexico, and enthusiastically created a number of original prints known as the "Moving Focus" series. The "Moving Focus" print series from the mid 1980's is the culmination of Hockney’s experiments with Cubism. The constant shifting focus in Hockney's "Hotel Well III," brings together multiple and simultaneous perspectives, clearly feeding off of Hockney's work with photography and his "Joiner" pieces. Fascinated by the Hotel Well and courtyard, David Hockney revisited the subject in multiple lithographs, incorporating the passage of time and light in the concept of perspective as seen in artworks like "Hotel Acatlan, Second Day" and "Hotel Acatlan, Two Weeks Later."

David Hockney, Hotel Acatlan Second Day, Offset Lithographic Poster

After working with California master printer Ken Tyler in the 1980s making etchings and lithographs, David Hockney explored ways of creating art with color photocopiers in 1986. “The works I did with the copying machine ...were not reproductions,” Hockney said later, “they were very complex prints.” Subject to the same curiosity about new technical methods, David Hockney began to experiment with the fax machine, and in 1989 sent work for the Sao Paulo Biennale to Brazil via fax. David Hockney began experiments using computers, composing images and colors on the screen and having them printed directly from the computer disk without preliminary proofing. David Hockney has had major retrospectives of his art in New York, Los Angeles and London. Technical experimentation has continued to inform and develop the art of David Hockney and his most recent artworks have been created on Hockney's iPad. David Hockney primarily works in his art studio in the Hollywood Hills near Los Angeles, California, where Hockney has lived permanently since 1978.

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