David Hockney - Editions Southampton New York Saturday, June 25, 2022 | Phillips

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  • David Hockney has experimented with and produced digital art for almost four decades, having first engaged with the medium in 1985 using an early computer program known as Quantel Paintbox. The artist acquired his first iPhone in 2008, utilizing the drawing applications to produce impromptu sketches of flowers to send to friends and family, before upgrading to an iPad in 2010. The portability of such technology, “afforded him the ability to create anywhere, at any time, and without restriction.”1 At the time, Hockney’s admiration for the digital medium was unprecedented and disrupted traditional hierarchical structures within the art historical canon and encouraged a re-evaluation of the future of art.
    "Recalling the reaction at the time, Hockney said, 'People from the village come up and tease me: 'We hear you’ve started drawing on your telephone' […] And I tell them, 'Well, no, actually, it’s just that occasionally I speak on my sketch pad.''"
    —David Hockney

    The growing interest and respect for Hockney’s rebellious approach is evidenced by the continuing inclusion of his iPad drawings alongside his prominent paintings in exhibitions around the globe, most notably the 2017 retrospective David Hockney at Tate Britain and the upcoming show Hockney’s Eye: Art, technology and imagination at Teylers Museum, Netherlands. Or furthermore, shows that have solely focused on the digital artform, such as David Hockney: iPhone and iPad Drawings 2009-12 at L.A. Louver, Me Draw on iPad at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, and the travelling exhibition David Hockney: Fleurs fraîches: Dessins sur iPhone et iPad.


    David Hockney holding his iPad at the exhibition David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, Guggenheim, Bilbao, 2012. Image: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

    Untitled, 145 depicts a burning candle shrouded in darkness and exemplifies the liberatory nature of the iPhone and iPad drawing medium, having stated that “there was great advantage in this medium because it’s backlit and I could draw in the dark.” Furthermore, a digital sketch pad transformed Hockney into an artist on the move. No longer constrained to a studio space or setting up a staged still life, Hockney could easily carry his art tools with him, making him ready and able to spontaneously capture organic scenes as they occurred around him.


    Hockney’s iPhone and iPad drawings engage with the everyday. He has produced a myriad of contemporary still life images and like many artists before him, elevating the mundane and transforming familiar items such as scissors, ashtrays, or computer plugs into works of art for our consideration. The accessibility and immediacy of the iPad as a digital sketchbook offers viewers a glimpse into the life of the artist.  


    1 LA Louver Press Release. David Hockney: iPhone and iPad Drawings 2009-12. March 2018.

    • Provenance

      LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California


Untitled (180)

iPad drawing in colors, printed on wove paper, with full margins.
I. 31 5/8 x 24 in. (80.3 x 61 cm)
S. 37 x 28 in. (94 x 71.1 cm)

Signed, dated and numbered 14/25 in pencil, published by the artist (with his blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $37,800

Contact Specialist

[email protected]

212 940 1220

Editions Southampton

New York Auction 25 June 2022