150
150
David Hockney
SELF PORTRAIT
ACCÉDER AU LOT
150
David Hockney
SELF PORTRAIT
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
Londres

David Hockney
B.1937
SELF PORTRAIT

Provenance

A gift from the artist to the present owner

Exposition

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts; Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Fine Art; London, National Portrait Gallery, David Hockney Portraits, 2006-7, pp. 6 and 75, illustrated in colour

Bibliographie

Christopher Simon Skyes, Hockney: A Rake’s Progress, The Biography, Vol. I, London 2011, p. 77, illustrated in colour

Description

A recently rediscovered treasure, this rare self-portrait is an early and poignant insight into the later practice of one of the leading artistic figures of our time. Having remained in the same private hands for over half a century, the present work was rediscovered by Hockney scholars only a few years ago and its extraordinary art-historical importance was immediately acknowledged. A highlight of the seminal David Hockney Portraits travelling exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery in London, it was the only picture out of the prolific artist’s entire illustrious oeuvre chosen to illustrate the exhibition catalogue’s Directors’ foreword. They stated: “he wants to create new ideas within realist traditions and nothing less than to investigate the nature of perception, to chart how we see and understand the world around us [...] and the way to achieve this has been through portraiture” (Malcolm Rogers et al., “Directors’ Foreword”,  in: Exhibition Catalogue, London, National Portrait Gallery, David Hockney Portraits, 2006-07, p. 7).

In a way evocative of Rembrandt’s early Self Portrait, the seventeen year old Hockney glances hesitantly out of the frame, intensely holding the viewer’s gaze. This compelling self-portrait captures the young artist having just enrolled at the Regional College of Art in Bradford and at the dawn of a far-reaching and remarkable artistic career than would encompass several decades.

Arrestingly fully-resolved in spite of an inexperienced hand, the composition is with hindsight, reminiscent of Hockney’s later portraits. The perspective and attention to detail, including the background, came naturally to Hockney. Bradford’s moody industrial landscape visible behind the young man seems to envelop him. Hockney’s early paintings, with their muddy skies and rain-slicked rooftops, are pervaded with a feeling of melancholy and wonder and allow a historical glimpse into regional life at the time.

Demonstrating both self-scrutiny and curiosity and at the same time a young man’s romantic homage to his hometown, the present work offers true Hockney connoisseurs the outstandingly rare opportunity to acquire not only the first self portrait painting by Hockney to come up at auction in almost twenty years, but more importantly one of the artist’s very first oil paintings ever produced, a medium he would cherish and restlessly investigate for the rest of his practice. Strikingly touching and profoundly empathic, Self Portrait can be singled out as a seminal work by one of the last living modern masters of the twentieth century.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
Londres