David Hockney – Grimms’ Fairytales

The Gallery at West Yorkshire Print Workshop is proud to announce our new exhibition featuring the work of David Hockney considered to be one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. David was born in Bradford in 1937, his reputation as a skilled painter, draughtsman, printmaker, photographer and set designer made him one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. Our exhibition focuses on his skills as an artist and printmaker.

The exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to purchase the work of David Hockney, a number of signed and unsigned works will be available. Prices range from £350 to £2500.

Black Cat Leaping - David Hockney

Black Cat Leaping – David Hockney. 1969

The solo exhibition focuses on Hockney’s passion and skill as a printmaker. It features 31 individual etchings that were drawn directly onto copper plates by Hockney between May and November 1969 to illustrate Grimms’ Fairytales.
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Hockney chose six from the 220 stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, selecting those which challenged his imagination to give visual form to the oddities of narrative and supernatural elements in them. He was intrigued by the psychological strangeness of the tales, the relationships and motivations of the characters, and many of his interpretations are almost arbitrarily personal in approach. He relishes the themes of greed and ambition, the metamorphoses and the surmounting of obstacles, just as tackling the illustrations is a challenge to the artist. As always in his work, Hockney makes extensive use of the art of the past, and there are direct allusions to Uccello, Carpaccio, Leonard, Brueghel and Magritte. He sees this as a natural method, revitalising an artistic heritage in terms of the legacy of folklore, using ‘what the story suggests visually’.
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The Sexton Disguised as a Ghost. David Hockney. 1969

The Sexton Disguised as a Ghost. David Hockney. 1969

Etching proved an ideal medium to convey the clarity and directness of the stories andHockney’s technical mastery is shown at its best in the virtuoso handling of line and texture. He is fascinated by the possibilities of intaglio and delights in manipulating burin, aquatint, soft-ground and hatching to give a great wealth of textures. He uses a wide range, from pure line through to a deeply bitten aquatint, from a formal crosshatched background to the illusionistic graining of a wooden floor.
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The Pot Boiling, David Hockney. 1969

The Pot Boiling, David Hockney. 1969

These prints bear all the characteristic qualities of David Hockney’s art – a strong interest in story telling and the interaction of human emotions, the fascination of conveying the supernatural and the psychological in visual terms, and the delight in exploring new ranges of technique with which to set down his perceptions.