Menzies Art Brands



As an English artist, the climate and architecture of Los Angeles was a revelation to the young David Hockney. Amidst its people and pools Hockney quickly found an artistic footing and a new subject in water. The idea of painting moving water as Hockney said, was very appealing to me It is a formal problem to represent water, to describe water, because it can be anything it can be any colour, its movable, it has no set visual description.1

Swimming pools became a recurrent motif throughout Hockneys career that began with his iconic, early paintings, Peter Getting out of Nicks Pool 1966 and A Bigger Splash 1967 which crystallised Hockneys impression of Los Angeles. There is the film, A Bigger Splash 1973, detailing the breakup of Hockneys relationship with Peter Schlesinger, that gives context to this important period. Most recently the sale of Hockneys Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) 1972 in essence, a portrait of Peter Schlesinger made USD 90,000,000 at auction in November 2018.

Our current lot, Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book 1980, is editioned to 1000 with 100 APs. Hockney was invited by Kenneth Tyler of Tyler Graphics to make paper on which he would paint a series of pictures. We see this process revealed in the editions accompanying book. At first Hockneys subject was flowers, but pools became the more interesting for the artist. The paper works, often from Polaroid photographs, became large painted sheets, gridded together, as final works. In Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book, the image of the pool, and the myriad reflections within, ring true; the blue shapes a symphony of shadows and light.
David Hockney brings a colourful intensity to all his prints.

He has an unstinting eye for detail and a fluidity that is beguiling. The appeal of Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book is won by drawing, a technique, but also a game, that Hockney almost always wins, in terms of beauty, and the great skill the painter brings to his art.

1. David Hockney, quoted in Stangos, N. (ed.), Pictures by David Hockney, Thames & Hudson, London, 1979, p.48  

Brett Ballard

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