David hockney portrait of an artist pool with two figures

Will Gompertz reviews David Hockney's record-breaking Portrait of an Artist ?????

david hockney portrait of an artist pool with two figures

David Hockney Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972)

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Armed with his Pentax camera, Hockney travelled to a villa outside Saint-Tropez, where he staged hundreds of photographs following his original composition using an assistant and friend in an idyllic pool setting. Returning to his London studio, Hockney composed the poolside photographs, along a selection of photographs of his former lover, Peter Schlesinger wearing the same pink jacket in Kensington Gardens, across his studio wall. Taking cues from the assemblage, he worked 18 hours a days for two weeks solid, finishing the painting the night before the shippers came to transport it to New York. Film still from A Bigger Splash, While on the final approach to Los Angeles, Hockney was struck by what he saw.

For Hockney at 81, this is a recognition of his place as one of the most remarkable artists of the past 60 years. Yet it comes with barbs. It was a dazzling moment to finally come face to face with this legendary work. The scale takes you by surprise. His creation of the pale underwater flesh of the swimmer through translucent veils of pale blue is a miracle. Hockney takes pop art to the level of the 15th-century master Jan van Eyck in the sheer subtlety of the light-filled glazes with which he creates the still pool, the paralysed onlooker and the landscape of psychedelic hues. This poetic documentary not only shows how Portrait of an Artist was painted, but why.

Updated November 16, A David Hockney painting has broken the record for the most expensive work from a living artist sold at auction. Hockney began work on the painting when he was inspired by the random placement of two photos on his studio floor. The initial work was painted and painted over, with Hockney returning to the concept a year afterwards in He completed the painting after working as much as 18 hours a day for two weeks, with The Week reporting he finished it the night before he had to send it off to a New York exhibition. In , he was named Britain's most influential artist in a poll of 1, UK sculptors and painters.

Hockney visited California for the first time in January after a successful first solo exhibition at the John Kasmin gallery. As a gay man, he was also a fan of the beefcake magazine Physique Pictorial , which was published in Los Angeles. This work brings together two of Hockney's themes from his paintings of the late s and early s: the swimming pool, and the double portrait. It depicts a male figure in white trunks swimming breaststroke underwater, and the painter Peter Schlesinger , Hockney's former lover and muse, fully clothed and standing at the edge of the pool looking down at the swimmer. The composition was inspired by a serendipitous combination of photographs that Hockney noticed on his studio floor: one of a man swimming underwater, taken in California in , and the other of a man standing looking at the ground.

One of the most iconic paintings of the 20th century shattered the world record for the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction. The work was previously owned by billionaire record exec David Geffen, who sold it to a private collector in Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, described Hockney's acrylic painting as "one of the great masterpieces of the modern era. Hockney, who is revered as one of Great Britain's most influential artists and a pioneer of the s pop art movement, conceived the composition for the double portrait by chance, after seeing the juxtaposition of two photographs on the floor of his studio in London -- one of a figure swimming underwater in a pool and the other of a boy staring at something on the ground. He began painting in October , but abandoned the first version of the canvas months later amid the end of his five-year relationship with Peter Schlesinger, a much younger American artist who was Hockney's original muse for the standing figure, according to Christie's.


David Hockney (b. 1937), Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972




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  1. Apia C. says:

    Lot 9 C.

  2. Aubin D. says:

    Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) is a large acrylic-on-canvas pop art painting by British artist David Hockney, completed in May It measures 7 ft .

  3. Francesca T. says:

    BBC News Navigation

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