LOS ANGELES, CA.-
This exhibition at Leslie Sacks Fine Art
, Brentwood, highlights a select group of David Hockney's prints made in Los Angeles during the 1970's and 1980's.
Hockney's rise to fame took place after he moved to the U.S. from England, ensconced himself in Los Angeles and became the L.A. art scene's favorite adopted son. This period of time, the 1970's and 1980's, was concurrent with the print revival that began in L.A. before his arrival with June Wayne's founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1960, and the subsequent founding of Gemini G.E.L., one of L.A.'s most prominent publishers, where Hockney made many of his iconic prints.
It seems Hockney made a concerted effort in the 1960s to reject the polished skills he'd acquired in art school, but in the 1970's he returned to a classic style of draftsmanship, as evidenced by Celia, 8365 Melrose Avenue (the address of the Gemini atelier). This print demonstrated to a wide audience beyond any possibility of doubt that Hockney was a major talent to be reckoned with by any art historical standard.
Hockney's style shifted again in the 1980's as he moved away from a relatively classical style of rendering and toward a more expressionistic style in the manner of Matisse. This transition is exemplified by Celia in an Armchair of 1980 wherein Celia's face is rendered rather realistically with fine lines while her figure and dress are expressed as a bold contour drawing. This exhibition includes a number of works in this latter, more expressionistic style.
The forgoing is a somewhat oversimplified discussion of Hockney's work in print media during the 1970's and 1980's. During the mid 1980's, a particularly fertile time for Hockney's graphics, he incorporated cubism and the occasional cartoonlike riff à la Picasso, and worked with several publishers outside of L.A. The most notable of these was Ken Tyler, who had trained in L.A. at Tamarind and then founded Gemini, with partners Sidney Felsen and Stanley Grinstein, before moving on to found Tyler Graphics Ltd. in Mt. Kisco, New York. So, albeit indirectly, Los Angeles played a role in most of Hockney's iconic prints published outside of Los Angeles. A number of these, installed discretely from those made in L.A., will also be presented in this show.