Leslie Sacks Contemporary is pleased to present David Hockney: Narrative and Imagination, an exhibition featuring drawings and editions from 1963-1998. This exhibition presents iconic themes and series by the renowned British artist, among them portraiture of Celia Birtwell and Henry Geldzahler, rare imagery from the Weather and Moving Focus series’ including, Rain, 1973 and An Image of Celia, 1984-86.
Celia Birtwell is David Hockney’s most iconic sitter. She has been the subject of his portraits for nearly four decades. Five classic Celia images are featured in the exhibition: Celia Musing, Celia Smoking, An Image of Celia (Moving Focus series), Celia Seated on an Office Chair and An Image of Celia, State II (Moving Focus series). The Image of Celia from the Moving Focus series, 1984-1986 is perhaps the most sought after and complex Celia he ever constructed. Within this seminal work Hockney makes art historical references to Henri Matisse through the color palette and Pablo Picasso in the Cubist-inspired composition. This composition also incorporates Hockney’s own personal art history with the inclusion of the collage elements of previous editions, such as Red Celia, Amaryllis in Vase and Afternoon Swimming.
Rain, from The Weather Series, 1973 is another highlight in the exhibition. A rare and desired work, this is the earliest example of water imagery in Hockney’s work, predating the swimming pools by several years. The Weather series is one of Hockney’s most significant portfolios inspired by the depiction of weather in Japanese prints, in particular in the traditional style of a Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcut. This exceptional lithograph aptly mimics the atmospheric representation of rain with pools of rainwater overflowing, uncontained down the sheet. The use of touché (lithographic ink wash) elicits watery droplets thereby directly connecting the printmaking technique to the subject matter itself.
David Hockney: Narrative and Imagination features a portrait and interior drawings from the 1970s and 1980s, among them Henry Geldzahler Seated with Yves-Maire, 1974, Study of Louver Window No. 1, 1973 and Interior (Odin’s Restaurant), c. 1980. Henry Geldzahler, Seated with Yves-Marie is a classic portrait of the illustrious former curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s alongside young art student and one-time lover of the artist, Yves-Marie. Geldzahler was a close friend and crucial figure in Hockney’s career, he appears in many paintings, drawings and prints. The Study of Louvre Window No. 1, 1973 is one of Hockney’s characteristic interiors and a record of his time spent in Paris in the early 1970s. This stunning drawing is one of the largest of Hockney’s colored pencil drawings at 42 x 30 inches.
David Hockney was born in Bradford, England in 1937. He studied at the Bradford School of Art (1953-1958) and the Royal College of Art (1959-1962). He has received a number of awards for his achievements and contributions to the arts, such as the John Moores Painting Prize (1967), Companion of Honor (1997) and The Order of Merit (2012). Hockney’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The National Portrait Gallery, London, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum and the Walker Art Center, among others. Hockney currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California and Yorkshire, England.
Leslie Sacks Contemporary is in the Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica (2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite B6). Gallery hours are Tues-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-6. The gallery is online at www.lesliesackscontemporary.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310 264 0640.
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