13 Stunning Photos Take You Inside David Hockney’s New SUMO Book
This is not just an ordinary monograph.
David Hockney fans take note. The beloved British artist is the subject of a massive new book, David Hockney. A Bigger Book, due out from Taschen in November. Over two feet tall and a foot-and-a-half wide, the mammoth tome comes with a custom designed stand by Marc Newson, and costs a hefty $2,500.
It’s the perfect showcase for Hockney’s vibrantly-colored, brilliantly perceptive works. From the cool blue swimming pools of California to the lush forests of his native Yorkshire, as well as paintings of family and friends, landscapes and portraits alike sparkle in a monograph that is truly spectacular.
This isn’t Taschen’s first rodeo with larger-than-life publications, a genre it pioneered with the 1999 monograph Helmut Newton SUMO, which, according to the Guardian, was the largest book produced in the 20th century. A Hockney SUMO has been a dream of Taschen founder Benedikt Taschen, Hockney’s good friend and Los Angeles neighbor, ever since.
A work of art unto itself, SUMO is being produced in a limited, numbered edition of 10,000, each signed by the artist. The first thousand copies will come with a signed print of his work.
“I know the book is going to last 100 years, at least,” Hockney said in a statement about the book, the most comprehensive survey of his work to date.
It features over 450 works drawn from all stages of Hockney’s 60-year career, beginning with a self-portrait from when he was just 16, way back when he was studying at the Bradford School of Art in 1953. Hockney and co-editor Hans Werner Holzwarth spent a year selecting and sequencing the included works. The publication went through 19 proof versions and 12 dummy copies before it was perfected.
The 498-page book includes 13 fold-out sections, and highlights Hockney’s artistic virtuosity in a wide range of styles, in paintings, photographs, prints, iPad drawings, and more. Among the highlights are a selection of Hockney’s famed portraits, currently the subject of “David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life” at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
The exhibition’s works also include Hockney’s 2013 painting of Taschen, which depicts the arts publisher and collector seated in front of a teal background.
“I don’t tend to live in the past,” Hockney noted. “Working on this book, I see quite how much I have done.”
The artist, who turns 80 next year, will have a massive retrospective at Tate Britain open just before reaching that milestone. Other museums around the world marking the occasion include the J. Paul Getty Museum, which will spotlight Hockney’s iconic photo collage work Pearblossom Hwy., 11–18th April 1986, #2 in the exhibition “Happy Birthday, David Hockney.”
Hockney’s forthcoming portfolio book comes with a 680-page illustrated chronology tracking the artist’s career. It’s an impressive survey of an epic career, and the (literal) enormity of the undertaking obviously comes at a price. Even if you can afford it, this monster weighs 75 pounds—and an even 100 if you include the stand.
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