Wind from "The Weather Series"
1973

Working with Ken Tyler at Gemini G.E.L.

Hockney spends time in L.A., working with Ken Tyler at Gemini G.E.L. on the Weather Series—lithographs that recall various stylizations of [NESTED]atmospheric effects in Japanese art. In recognition of Tyler’s expertise, Hockney draws his portrait for a lithograph, The Master Printer of Los Angeles.  

I arrive at Gemini at 8:00 a.m. much to the surprise of the printers who tell me that the artists don’t usually show up until 11:00 .… Ken is such a good printer. It’s terrific getting into complicated lithography again. There’s no one in London who can print like him. Every little thing put on a stone really appears. I’ve almost completed the first four. Rain, Mist, Sun, and Lightning, and hope to do four more—Snow, Frost, Wind, and a Rainbow.

I arrive at Gemini at 8:00 a.m. much to the surprise of the printers who tell me that the artists don’t usually show up until 11:00 .… Ken is such a good printer. It’s terrific getting into complicated lithography again. There’s no one in London who can print like him. Every little thing put on a stone really appears. I’ve almost completed the first four. Rain, Mist, Sun, and Lightning, and hope to do four more—Snow, Frost, Wind, and a Rainbow.

The Master Printer of Los Angeles, 1973
Sun from "The Weather Series"
Rain from "The Weather Series"
Mist from "The Weather Series"
Lightning from "The Weather Series"
Snow from "The Weather Series"
Wind from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Rain' from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Wind' I from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Wind' II from "The Weather Series"
Studies for 'Snow' from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Sun' I from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Sun' II from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Ten Palm Trees in a Mist' I from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Ten Palm Trees in a Mist' II from "The Weather Series"
Study for 'Mist' from "The Weather Series"

Honoring Picasso

Hockney’s next print project is a commission from the publisher Propyläen Verlag to honor Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) with a contribution to a commemorative portfolio (already in the works prior to his death on April 8). Hockney works with [NESTED]Aldo Crommelynck, the Paris-based master printer with whom Picasso collaborated, to produce The Student: Homage to Picasso and Artist and Model. In the process he learns the highly difficult “sugar-lift” technique as well as colored etching.

It was thrilling to meet someone who had such direct contact with Picasso and worked with him such a lot. Aldo Crommelynck taught me marvelous technical things about etching.

It was thrilling to meet someone who had such direct contact with Picasso and worked with him such a lot. Aldo Crommelynck taught me marvelous technical things about etching.

The Student: Homage to Picasso, 1973
Artist and Model, 1974
Picasso
Picasso as a Bust (& Verso)
Picasso as a Young Man

Northern Italy

Henry Geldzahler is once again Hockney’s summer companion: this year the pair rent a villa close to Lucca, hoping to write a book together. Instead, they tour around northern Italy, and Hockney makes drawings of Geldzahler, Mo McDermott, and the many other visiting friends and acquaintances who keep the villa full.

Yves-Marie in the Rain, 1973
Henry in Italy
Henry Writing, Lucca
Henry in Deckchair
Henry Reading
Henry and Mo, Villa Reale

Living in Paris

In the autumn, Hockney leaves England to live in Paris, in the sixth arrondissement. The move does not deter his recent devotion to drawing and printmaking. Among the new friends he draws are Jean Léger, Gregory Evans, and Yves-Marie Hervé. He drafts more portraits of Celia Birtwell—evidence of their particular [NESTED]intimacy since the early part of the year, when Birtwell and her two sons rented a Malibu beach house with Hockney. 

I was trying to break out of something … of what I called obsessive naturalism …. Usually when I get into that state I have to do something, so I just sit and draw in some way or other. At that time I felt almost as though I should go back to drawing skeletons, as I did when I was a student at the Royal College of Art, thinking, what shall I do?: I’ll make a study of the skeleton; what should I do?: I’ll makes some drawings of my friends; I’ll make them slowly, accurately, have them sit down and pose for hours.

I was trying to break out of something … of what I called obsessive naturalism …. Usually when I get into that state I have to do something, so I just sit and draw in some way or other. At that time I felt almost as though I should go back to drawing skeletons, as I did when I was a student at the Royal College of Art, thinking, what shall I do?: I’ll make a study of the skeleton; what should I do?: I’ll makes some drawings of my friends; I’ll make them slowly, accurately, have them sit down and pose for hours.

Gregory Reading
Henry in a Blue Cardigan
Portrait of Jean Leger

Paris is very pleasant. For the first time in years I can have eight hours a day painting alone with no disturbances. The telephone only seems to ring two or three times and it’s usually only friends arranging dinner. I’ve started a few French lessons but my progress is slow, and after a hard day painting it’s a little hard to concentrate, but I intend to slog at it.

Celia in a Black Slip. Paris. Nov.
Celia in a Black Slip Reclining. Paris Dec. 1973
Celia Wearing Checked Sleeves
Celia in a Pink Slip. Paris. Oct. 1973
Celia in a Negligee. Paris. Nov. 1973

Celia has a beautiful face, a very rare face with lots of things in it which appeal to me. It shows aspects of her, like her intuitive knowledge and her kindness, which I think is the greatest virtue. To me she’s such a special person.

© 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Exhibitions

Solo

  • Prints, Holburne Museum, Bath (Feb 3–Mar 10).
  • The Weather and Other Lithographs, André Emmerich Gallery, New York (May 19–Jun 15).
  • David Hockney, Jordan Gallery, London (Jul).
  • David Hockney, Galerie Herbert Meyer-Ellinger, Frankfurt am Main (Aug 21–Oct 6); catalogue.
  • Print Retrospective, M. Knoedler & Co., New York (Oct 18–Nov 28); catalogue with a text by Barbara Mathes.

Group

  • La peinture anglaise aujourd’hui, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (Feb 7–Mar 11); catalogue.
  • Drawings, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles (Mar 13–Apr 15).
  • British Artists’ Prints of the Sixties: A British Council Exhibition, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum (Apr 14–29); catalogue.
  • Elf englische Zeichner, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (May 4–Jun 17); travels to Kunsthalle Bremen (Jul 1–Aug 5); catalogue.
  • Henry Moore to Gilbert and George: Modern British Art from the Tate Gallery, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (Sep 28–Nov 17); catalogue.