COUNTY DURHAM.- The Bowes Museum
at Barnard Castle announced the opening of a new exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of David Hockneys prolific career as a printmaker.
Hockney, Printmaker, which opened on Saturday 7th June, presents over 60 works by the Yorkshire born artist, charting a print career which began in 1954. It was a career furthered almost by accident when he discovered that the printmaking department at Londons Royal College of Art gave out free materials; a boon for the impoverished, working class student.
Focusing on Hockneys two main print techniques etching and lithography the exhibition, curated by Richard Lloyd, Head of Prints at Christies, gives an informative, enlightening and entertaining overview of the artists graphic career to date, while revealing the thought processes and technical expertise underlying the works.
The show includes well known works such as A Rakes Progress Hockneys first major etching project modelled on William Hogarths eponymous set of prints; his Weather series and Swimming Pool prints.
Hockney has an international reputation of quality and is probably the greatest living print maker, said Emma House, The Bowes Museums Keeper of Fine Art. A Rakes Progress very much pays homage to Hogarth it is Hockney making the print medium revered again in the same way in which Hogarth did.
The show, which runs until 28th September, also comprises portraits of some of Hockneys famous sitters and friends, including his muse, the fashion designer Celia Birtwell. Later works feature a selection of prints created using photocopiers, plus examples of his computer drawings including Rain on the Studio Window a forerunner to his celebrated iPad works.
The exhibition, which will be complemented by a series of gallery talks, is part of the International Print Biennale, the biggest printmaking event in the UK, which runs from June to August 2014.
Hockney, Printmaker has been organised by Dulwich Picture Gallery with The Bowes Museum.