Art Preview: David Hockney – Original Prints

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Published on page 34 in the February edition of Buzz Magazine

David Hockney – Original Prints

Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin Arts Centre

24 February – 1 April 2017

Without question, David Hockney has been one of the most prolific and experimental artists of the 20th century. Over the course of his career his work as a painter, set designer, draftesman and photographer has been well documented, but somehow his work as a printmaker has rarely gained the spotlight. However, an exhibition starting later this month is aiming to change all that.

In collaboration with the Goldmark Gallery, the Ceri Richards Gallery at the heart of Swansea’s Taliesin centre is to display some of Hockney’s most influential work in his 60 years as a printmaker. The works contain many characteristics qualities of his art – an economy of technique, a pre-occupation with storytelling and human interaction – but they are also some of Hockney’s most personally revealing creations The exhibition seeks to establish as Hockney as one of the most skilled, innovative and challenging printmakers alive.

Among the images on display are a number of etchings from his Grimm’s Fairytale series. These sparse, almost ugly, depictions of the Grimms’ stories stand in contrast to the luscious illustrations that one would typically expect to adorn the pages of the fairytales; where those colourful pictures seek to create beauty and magic, Hockney’s unassuming black and white stark etchings bring back to mind J.R.R. Tolkein’s remark that the fairytales were not written ‘for children’.

Alongside this work this series there will sit works from his Cavafy suite, a series of illustrations that were inspired by the Hellenistc homoerotic poetry of C.F. Cavafy. Hockney first discovered Cavafy’s poetry in the 1950s, when he stole a copy of his poems for the local library in Bradford. The series marks Hockney’s first artistic interaction Cavafy, a source which informed much of subquent work. His simple ink line drawings shocked audiences when they were first released in 1967 with their shockingly realistic depiction of gay men in bed.

The exhibition will run for five weeks, finishing on the 1st April.

Image: Supplied by Ceri Richards Gallery

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