David Hockney has long cut a broad swathe through the art world. After all, he’s turned to paintings, photography and even Polaroids along with recently using the iPhone and iPad for his creative endeavors.
Set to heighten his visibility yet further, the New York art dealer Paul Kasmin is debuting ‘David Hockney: Early Drawings’ at his eponymous gallery in Chelsea. On view are 58 drawings and 16 etchings, beginning with artist’s earliest work dating from 1962 following a stint at the Royal College of Art, through the 70s. Staged in collaboration with the London dealer Offer Waterman, this show is a must as a many of the works are from private collectors, and it also includes number of archival photographs.
‘I can't remember a time I did not love David's drawings,’ says Paul Kasmin, who literally grew up surrounded by Hockney’s work as his father John Kasmin served as the artist’s first dealer.
Hockney’s celebrated muse and fashion designer Celia Birtwell, who helped usher in the Swinging Sixties, is portrayed in no less than three drawings, all with a surprising economy of line. Also on view are sketches of the late Metropolitan Museum curator Henry Geldzaher, whose exhibition ‘New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970’ made headlines as the museum’s first American contemporary art show. Sketches of Hockney’s friends, a slew of still-lifes and his early iconic pool sketches get a good airing too.
With Hockney’s oils now fetching millions, this is a rare opportunity to garner a glimpse into his initial efforts on paper.