Picasso and Hockney, a synergistic pairing, from Doug Flamm, rare book expert at Gagosian
In 1984, at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, in conjuncation with the exhibition, Picasso: The Last Years, 1963-1973, artist David Hockney lectured on how Pablo Picasso’s late paintings influenced his own practice and explores how Picasso’s compositional methods relate to photography. Introduced by Mimi Poser of the Guggenheim, this event took place on April 3, 1984.
In his lecture, Hockney states:
Of course, Picasso does have a new way of seeing, and deals with it right to the end. I think the point to be made as well is, of course, that no artist’s work is done until he drops dead. He goes on, and one shouldn’t particularly, I think, make too many judgments until it’s finished. With an artist the caliber of Picasso, common sense tells you that an artist of that quality does not spend the last 20 years of his life repeating himself. It’s against his nature, really. I don’t think it would be possible for him to do it, and it becomes clearer and clearer that the pictures of the ’60s and the early ’70s couldn’t have been painted any earlier. It could not have been done that way.
For David Hockney, (born 1937), Picasso had long been an inspiration. As a student, Hockney made several visits to the 1960 exhibition at the Tate Gallery. It taught him that an artist need not adhere to a single style and in 1962 Hockney dubbed his Young Contemporaries exhibition ‘Demonstrations of Versatility’.
Following Picasso’s death in 1973, Hockney made two prints in tribute. Other works from the 1970s also refer to Picasso.
In 1980 Hockney had a commission from the Metropolitan Opera, New York, that included a design for Parade based on Picasso’s designs for the ballet’s 1917 première. While in New York that year, he saw a Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art which reinvigorated his belief that Cubism marked a turning point in pictorial representation. This directly affected his painting and prompted him to use photography to depict the world in a Cubist fashion. The resulting photographic collages replaced drawing in Hockney’s practice for several years.
Hockney was an early advocate of Picasso’s late style. For a lecture on ‘Important Paintings of the 1960s’, he selected only works by Picasso. Cubism remains a stimulus: Hockney has recently applied the multi-directional view of his ‘cubist’ photographs to video.
In an interview in The Guardian, with Tim Lewis, on November 16, 2014, Hockney’s passion for Picasso extends not only to his work but his extraordinary passion for life and vigor.
I’m working, that’s all I want to do, and there is love in my life. I love life. I write it at the end of letters – “Love life, David Hockney”. When I’m working, I feel like Picasso, I feel I’m 30. When I stop I know I’m not, but when I paint, I stand up for six hours a day and yeah, I feel I’m 30. Picasso said that, from the age of 30 to 90, he always felt 30 when he painted.
IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG GAGOSIAN GALLERY’S RARE BOOK EXPERT, DOUGLAS FLAMM, OFFERS TWO PHENOMENAL SUGGESTIONS ON THE HEROIC ARTISTS, PABLO PICASSO AND DAVID HOCKNEY, FOR YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING OR TO ADD TO YOUR OWN LIBRARY, NOW OR AT ANY TIME THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
DOUG, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING US AWARE OF THESE EXTRAORDINARY PUBLICATIONS! AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Drawings by David Hockney; Edited by Stephen Spender.
13 × 10 inches (33 × 25.4 cm); Hardcover in slipcase; Fully illustrated
Published by Faber & Faber, London for the Aids Crisis Trust
Limited edition of 250 from a total edition 300 copies; Signed by many of the contributors
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for purchase.
Hockney’s Alphabet, published in 1991 by the Aids Crisis Trust, presents 26 lively drawings created by David Hockney, each accompanied by a written contribution from 26 well known authors. In addition there is a T.S. Eliot piece included for the ampersand, &. This book is just as relevant today as it was when published close to thirty years ago. This rare edition is signed by David Hockney, Stephen Spender and 22 of the authors. From a limited edition of 250 numbered copies and a total edition of 300; in mint condition.
In addition to Hockney and Spender, 22 of the contributors have also signed the book: Doris Lessing, William Boyd, Margaret Drabble, Martin Amis, William Golding, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Nigel Nicolson, Seamus Heaney, Douglas Adams, Julian Barnes, Craig Raine, Kazuo Ishiguro, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Pritchett, Erica Jong, Arthur Miller, John Julius Norwich, Susan Sontag, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Norman Mailer, and Ian McEwan. (Not signing were Burgess and Eliot, of course, Ted Hughes, and Gore Vidal).
Carnet de dessins
Published by Cahiers d’Art, Paris, 1948
Edition of 1,200
16 5/8 × 11 7/8 inches (42 × 30 cm)
This book reproduces, in facsimile, forty-one drawings made by Pablo Picasso in Royan, France, between May 30, 1940 and August 22, 1940, which were once contained in a notebook. It also features studies the artist created in Paris dated February 19, 1942. Picasso sought refuge in Royan from September 1939 to August 1940 after fleeing Paris due to fear of wartime bombing.
THE LRFA BLOG WISHES ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS AND FOLLOWS OF THE BLOG A WONDERFUL 2021 – THE FREEDOM TO TRAVEL AND THE JOY OF STAYING HOME OUT OF CHOICE, GOOD HEALTH, PROSPERITY AND HAPPINESS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUING SUPPORT.
SEASONS GREETINGS AND ALL GOOD WISHES FOR
THE COMING YEAR