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  • Provenance

    LA Louver, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    David Hockney: A Retrospective, LACMA, Los Angeles, 1989
    Photographs by David Hockney, Organized by the International Exhibitions Foundation, Washington D. C, travelled April 1986-April 1989 to: Boca Raton Museum of Arts, Boca Raton; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo; Akron Art Museum, Akron; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and 14 other venues

  • Literature

    Harry N Abrams, Inc., David Hockney: A Retrospective, p. 57
    Hockney, Photographs, p. 26
    Hockney, That’s the Way I See It, p. 110
    Joyce, Hockney on Photography, p. 128
    Manchester University Press, David Hockney, p. 128
    Weschler, True to Life: Twenty-five Years of Conversations with David Hockney, p. 77

  • Catalogue Essay

    Following a successful career in drawing and painting, Los Angeles-based artist David Hockney decided to pursue photography as a challenge. “The main aspect,” he said, “was the lack of time in [traditional] photographs. I had become very, very aware of this ‘frozen’ moment that was very unreal to me. A photograph didn’t really have life in the way drawing or painting did. And I realized that it couldn’t, because of what it is.” Eager to break the instantaneous restrictions of the medium, in 1980 Hockney began creating his joiners—collages comprised of multiple images, each taken from a different angle over an extended period of time. As such, a joiner presented a fluid, continuous narrative, gradually revealing Hockney’s movement around and within each scene.

    The Desk, July 1st, shown in the current lot, is largely recognized as one of Hockney’s most ambitious and important joiners. Taken in 1984, the joiner depicts what at first glance appears to be a work desk, comprised of dozens of individual images that collectively imbue the desk with a deeply three-dimensional feel. By doing so, Hockney blurs the line between photography and sculpture. Similarly, the books and boxes atop the desk are portrayed from multiple angles and in different stages of being opened and utilized, infusing the image with the passage of time and movement.

    To further emphasize his intention, sitting atop the desk is a book open to a page depicting Pablo Picasso’s Guitar, 1913, a superb example of Cubism, the style the Spanish artist had founded with his peer Georges Braque. “Many think Cubism is an art of transition, an experiment which is to bring ulterior motives,” Picasso stated in 1923. “Those who think that way have not understood it. Cubism is not either a seed or a fetus, but an art dealing primarily with forms, and when a form is realized it is there to live its own life.” Picasso’s collage of the guitar is comprised of images and shapes culled from different mediums and sources. As such, it eschews a stylistic alliance with any traditional art forms in favor of pioneering a new, hybrid style that draws on the strength of different art forms. By positioning Picasso’s Guitar at the center of his own work, Hockney aligns The Desk, July 1st, with Picasso’s earlier masterpiece, proud to herald his own avant-garde style, breaking conventions and further solidifying his unique contribution to the field of photographs.

  • Artist Biography

    David Hockney

    British • 1937

    With a career stretching from the early 1960s to the present, David Hockney is perhaps best known for his bright, cheerful works depicting pools and other everyday scenes from his life in southern California. Originally from West Yorkshire, England, Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art in London before spending decades on both sides of the Atlantic. The artist got his start as part of the British Pop movement, though he’s also cited Modern masters like Picasso and Matisse as major influences on his unique style. 

    Having worked in mediums such as painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and more, Hockney is among the most versatile artists of his time. Drawing on his lived experience, Hockney imparts obvious references to same-sex love and companionship in his work, a motif that began even before Britain decriminalized homosexuality in 1967. His work in present in the collections of institutions such as MoMA, the Pompidou and the Tate, which granted him a blockbuster career retrospective in 2017. At present, Hockney is one of the most expensive living artists to be sold at auction. 

    View More Works

271

The Desk, July 1st

1984
Photographic collage, in the artist's original frame.
Overall 44 7/8 x 46 7/8 in. (114 x 119.1 cm)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered '13' in ink on the mount. One from an edition of 20.

Estimate
$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $87,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs
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Shlomi Rabi
Head of Sale, New York
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Photographs

New York Auction 1 October