Gray Gallery
Glass, 2009
iPhone drawing printed on paper
37 x 251/2 in.


Throughout his career, David Hockney has embraced new technologies in his practice, especially those developed with mass-use and accessibility in mind. In the 1980s and 1990s, he made use of the Polaroid, Xerox, fax machine, and Macintosh computer in his work, and he began using Photoshop as early as 2007. Most recently, Hockney has taken up the iPhone and iPad as his means for art making, utilizing Brushes and other applications developed for drawing on touchscreens. Starting in 2009, he began to draw hundreds of images on his iPhone and, as soon as it was introduced in 2010, on his iPad. The iPad specifically allowed him to work at a larger scale and with increased detail; and the playback function of both devices offered him – and others – the possibility to retroactively watch the progression by which his drawings were made.

While living in Bridlington, on the coast of Yorkshire, in 2009 and the early 2010s, Hockney took up the iPhone and iPad repeatedly, producing a series of often intimate and impromptu drawings of the everyday. He would keep a tablet on his bedside table, so that he might be able to draw his view out the window, his trousers strewn across a chair, an ashtray or perhaps a vase of flowers as he was seeing them each morning and evening. At first, he only shared his iPhone and iPad drawings with friends via email. Though, soon enough, he began to select a number of drawings to be printed at a larger scale for exhibition. The present works are from a series of twenty-three of the artist’s selected iPhone and iPad drawings, each printed in editions of twenty-five.

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