David Hockney - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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

    In 2010, David Hockney visited Yosemite National Park equipped with a brand-new invention: the iPad. Released by Apple earlier that year, the iPad was fast becoming a popular gadget, but Hockney was one of the first to realise its full potential as an artistic tool. Relishing the immediacy of working on the device, Hockney set about creating twenty-six iPad drawings en plein air which he titled The Yosemite Suite. In doing so, Hockney asserted himself as an artist for the technological age and brought a unique and pioneering aesthetic to the Yosemite Valley, California – a region which has long served as an arena for artists to showcase their skills. 

     

    Albert Bierstadt, Merced River, Yosemite Valley, 1866. Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of the sons of William Paton, 1909, 09.214.1

    Since the mid-19th century, artists have flocked to the Yosemite Valley, attempting to capture its dramatic scenery and towering rock formations. Published in 1855 - the first widely published images of Yosemite - lithographs after Thomas Ayer's drawings highlight the beauty and expanse of the unspoilt landscape. Depictions by painters soon followed, with the Hudson River School’s Albert Bierstadt creating Merced River, Yosemite Valley (1866), which currently hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. By the mid-20th century, Yosemite had become one of America’s first designated National Parks as well as a chief source of inspiration for the photographer Ansel Adams, whose images of the region are amongst the most widely recognised. Today, The Ansel Adams Gallery - situated in Yosemite Village - displays original works by Adams, alongside contemporary artists’ responses to the landscape, and aims to educate visitors about the rich artistic culture that has become central to the history of Yosemite. 

     

    Ansel Adams, Yosemite Valley, Summer, 1935 (negative), 1976-1979 (print). Image: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Hauslohner, 1976-213-81, Artwork: © Ansel Adams Publishing Trust

    In drawing Yosemite, Hockney actively engages with the region’s important visual history. He offers a refreshing and modern take on the iconic landscape, rendered through distinct digital brushstrokes and his trademark colourful palette. Brushes - Hockney’s favourite app to create work on at the time - allowed the artist to easily draw in situ and experiment with different types of mark making. Utilising blurring tools and different densities of line, Brushes allowed Hockney to create layered images with both depth and atmosphere. 


    While all works in the series highlight his bucolic surrounding, Untitled No. 1. is one of only a handful of works from The Yosemite Suite, which contains references to human life. The abstracted figures in the foreground of the work are dwarfed by the huge rock face that looms in the background, emphasising the enormity of the national park’s landscape. Recognising the impact of scale in such a setting, Hockney was inspired to experiment with transposing his iPad drawings into large format prints: each print in The Yosemite Suite measures almost a metre by two thirds of a metre, roughly four times the size of the iPad screen on which they were produced. Like the subject they depict, the scale and vibrancy of Hockney’s Yosemite prints are eye catching, and they serve as an early example of the artist’s forays into digital art. 

19

Untitled No. 1, from The Yosemite Suite

2010
iPad drawing in colours, printed on wove paper, with full margins.
I. 81.5 x 61.2 cm (32 1/8 x 24 1/8 in.)
S. 94.1 x 71.3 cm (37 x 28 1/8 in.)

Signed, dated and numbered 11/25 in pencil, published by the artist (with his blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£30,000 - 50,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £88,200

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022