Never-Before-Seen David Hockney Prints Are Coming to London
It coincides with a massive exhibition at the Tate next year.
Brought together by a common desire to champion the early work of the prolific British artist David Hockney, London dealers Lyndsey Ingram and James Holland-Hibbert are staging an exhibition of etchings he made in his early years as an artist.
Where the Tate exhibition will provide a comprehensive look at the 79-year-old artist’s long career, across the river, the etchings exhibition will focus on the tail end of Hockney’s student years, and his first few years working professionally as an artist.
Hockney began making etchings as a student at the Royal College of Art in London, where he studied from 1959 until 1962. Unable to afford paint, he went to the graphics department instead, where students weren’t required to buy their own materials. With rough lines and an experimental spirit, Hockney’s early etchings reveal issues he was struggling with as a young man.
“They show him exploring his sexuality, standing up to authority and testing boundaries—we see this reflected in how he pushes the medium to its limits. If we consider Hockney’s career as a transition from line to colour, here we see him developing the character of his line,” says Ingram in a statement.
Supplemented with loans from the Tate and private collections, the exhibition will comprise impressions of every single print Hockney created during this time, some of which have never been displayed publicly before. Notably, this includes his series “A Rake’s Progress,” which is based on William Hogarth’s 18th-century cautionary tale of amorality. (Hockney later designed the stage for the 1951 Igor Stravinsky opera of the same name.)
For true Hockney fans, his early work affords a glimpse of an artist testing the waters, and diving in full force.
“David Hockney: The Complete Early Etchings 1961-1964,” will be on view at Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert Gallery in London from February 3 – March 10, 2017.
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