The work of David Hockney (b. 1937) was discovered by influential dealer and gallerist John Kasmin while Hockney was still a student at the Royal College of Art, building London’s pop art scene alongside Peter Blake and RB Kitaj. Kasmin bought his first Hockey painting from the 1961 ‘Young Contemporaries’ exhibition, marking the beginning of a long relationship.
Kasmin spoke highly of Hockney’s graphic works, describing his prints as ‘inventive, flowing and happy’. In 1970, he published Hockney’s ‘Brothers Grimm’ suite of etchings, a number of which we are pleased to hold in our Gallery.
When selecting from over 200 stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, Hockney was drawn to what he described as the ‘psychological strangeness’ of the tales. They allowed him to explore the relationships and motivations of the characters, and presented the challenge of depicting the supernatural and surreal.
The resulting work has an unmistakably personal approach. Works such as ‘Cold Water about to Hit the Prince’ and ‘The Boy Hidden in an Egg’ use the same perspective devices as Hockney’s earlier portraiture, implying the artist’s point of view, and a relationship between the artist and (imaginary) sitter.
Hockney’s technical mastery of etching was already evident in his re-imagining of Hogarth’s ‘A Rake’s Progress’, published in the early 1960s. The ‘Brothers Grimm’ suite shows a more refined approach to the medium, dispensing with colour and exploring the subtleties offered by intaglio techniques. Solid line and deep-biting aquatint give depth, with traditional cross-hatching and soft-ground plates providing texture and tone.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
Six Tales from The Brothers Grimm, and other works
8 April - 11 May 2016