Vogue Paris cover
1985

Vogue

Hockney’s 41-page essay on ways of disrupting long-held conventions of perspective in Western art, as represented through images of his own work, appears in the December issue of Vogue Paris after months of preparation, with Hockney insisting on complete editorial and design [NESTED]control. On the magazine’s cover is Hockney’s Cubism-inspired portrait of Celia Birtwell painted in heavy makeup to compete with the other cover girls on the magazine rack. 

When they first asked me, I refused. I didn’t even know enough about fashion, and I was not interested in it anyway. Then they said it needn’t be about fashion, it could be about anything. I thought, if it can be about anything, then I’ll do it. I thought we could make my kind of photocollages work on the page ... and show therefore, that it’s possible to break photography up, change it, provided it worked on the printed page. After all, forty pages in the middle of Vogue is forty pages in the middle of pictures which make use of one-point perspective, because all the rest of the photographs in the magazine are made in a conventional way. I wanted to show how photography could be done differently.

When they first asked me, I refused. I didn’t even know enough about fashion, and I was not interested in it anyway. Then they said it needn’t be about fashion, it could be about anything. I thought, if it can be about anything, then I’ll do it. I thought we could make my kind of photocollages work on the page ... and show therefore, that it’s possible to break photography up, change it, provided it worked on the printed page. After all, forty pages in the middle of Vogue is forty pages in the middle of pictures which make use of one-point perspective, because all the rest of the photographs in the magazine are made in a conventional way. I wanted to show how photography could be done differently.

Vogue Paris cover
Photo by Richard Schmidt
Vogue Paris

Paint Trolley

He includes a copy of the Vogue issue on the bottom rack of the photographic collage Paint Trolley, which wittily pictures traditional art-making materials and equipment in a single motif of densely overlapping photographs. With all the rich color, detail, and scale expected of a painting, Paint Trolley speaks to advances in visual art-making—in seeing—made possible through photography.

Paint Trolley, Los Angeles 1985, 1985
Hockney sporting polka dots and stripes

Hearing versus seeing

A new hearing aid improves Hockney’s hearing, [NESTED]bringing him to reflect on how his reduced sensitivity to sound has sharpened his visual awareness.

Music is more alive again and sounds seem spatial, and made me think that over the last years to compensate for my muffled ears I developed a strong visual space sense. I say this because I’m very aware I seem to see in another way that has to do with noticing movement of the eye (time) and perception of space. A blind man develops his hearing to define his space; could not a deaf person develop his sight ... Anyway there’s no doubt that either from the theater or somewhere else I became more aware of space and time. All the photography is to do with it, and all the subsequent paintings, and something is happening in the paintings that seems like a new kind of pictorial space to me.

Music is more alive again and sounds seem spatial, and made me think that over the last years to compensate for my muffled ears I developed a strong visual space sense. I say this because I’m very aware I seem to see in another way that has to do with noticing movement of the eye (time) and perception of space. A blind man develops his hearing to define his space; could not a deaf person develop his sight ... Anyway there’s no doubt that either from the theater or somewhere else I became more aware of space and time. All the photography is to do with it, and all the subsequent paintings, and something is happening in the paintings that seems like a new kind of pictorial space to me.

Portrait of Mother I
An Image of Ken
Hotel Acatlan: Two Weeks Later
Portrait of Mother III
Views of Hotel Well II
Views of Hotel Well III
Portrait of Mother II
Number One Chair
White Porcelain
Views of Hotel Well I

Associate Royal Academician

In London, the Royal Academy of Arts elects Hockney as an Associate Royal Academician.

Hockney and stripes

Exhibitions

Solo

  • David Hockney, Lloyd Shin Gallery, Wilmette (Jan).
  • New Color Lithographics, Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village (May).
  • Prints from the 1960s and 70s, Eugenia Cucalón Gallery, New York (May 24–Jun 28).
  • Portraits, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston (Jun 15–Jul 27).
  • Wider Perspectives Are Needed Now, Knoedler Gallery, London (opens Jul 25).
  • Drawings, Prints and Photocollages, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle (Jul–Aug).
  • Eight New Lithographs, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago (Aug 6–Sep 14).
  • David Hockney, Jane Corkin Gallery, Toronto (Sep 14–Oct 8).
  • Paintings of the Early 1960s, André Emmerich Gallery, New York (Sep 19–Oct 19); catalogue with a text by Nicholas Wilder.
  • David Hockney, College Art Gallery, New Paltz (Oct); travels to State University of New York, Albany, and College of Santa Fe.
  • New Work, André Emmerich Gallery, New York (Dec 5, 1985–Jan 4, 1986).
  • Images et pensées pour le Magazine Vogue Paris, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris (Dec 10, 1985–Jan 15, 1986).
  • Wider Perspectives Are Needed Now, L.A. Louver, Venice, CA (Dec 17, 1985–Jan 18, 1986).

Group

  • From Manet to Hockney: Modern Artists’ Illustrated Books, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Mar 20–May 19); catalogue.
  • A Second Talent; Painters and Sculptors Who Are Also Photographers, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield (Sep 22–Dec 15); catalogue.
  • The Painter’s Music/The Musician’s Art, collaboration with the chamber ensemble “An die Musik,” Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, and Kenneth Noland, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (Nov 17).

Publication

Publication

  • David Hockney, Martha’s Vineyard and Other Places: My Third Sketchbook from the Summer of 1982, New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Honor

Honor

  • Elected Associate Royal Academician, Royal Academy of Arts, London.