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

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  • 'I really enjoy looking… If you look at the world, it’s very beautiful. But you’ve got to have a clear head and there’s lots of things that stop you looking.' —David Hockney

    Like millions of people around the world, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns confined David Hockney to his home for long stretches of 2020. During this time, Hockney had to seek out artistic inspiration within a much-limited radius: his house and garden in Normandy, Northern France. In My Normandy – a body of work that includes the iPad drawings A Bigger Fire and No Fire – Hockney responds to his immediate surroundings. Using lockdown as an opportunity to really contemplate what he was seeing, Hockney transformed his everyday views into highly personal artworks.


    In both A Bigger Fire and No Fire, Hockney focuses on his own hearth. Traditionally viewed as the centre of domesticity through its association with warmth and cooking, the roaring fireplace in A Bigger Fire is comforting and homely. Supplementary details such as the bellows lying to the left of the foreground and the small brush hanging from the mantel add elements of personalisation, further emphasising that this is an inhabited and frequently used space. Even in No Fire, where Hockney chooses to depict an empty fireplace – a subject that would usually be overlooked - the subtle differentiations in colour and line, which the artist utilises to reveal the textures of the stone on the back wall, speak to a long period of visual engagement with his subject.


    Viewed together, A Bigger Fire and No Fire speak of the inevitable passing of time - a concept that became more poignant in Hockney’s work over lockdown, as COVID-19 seemed to halt life as we knew it. Other projects he completed in lockdown - such as A Year in Normandy and The Arrival of Spring, Normandy – focus on the progression of time through the examination of familiar subjects. A Bigger Fire and No Fire are domestic equivalents: they evoke a mental image of Hockney seated in front of his hearth, repeatedly studying the scene in front of him and the effect of time passing. 

    • Provenance

      Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris (label verso of frame)

    • Exhibited

      Galerie Lelong & Co, Paris, David Hockney, Ma Normandie, October 15, 2020 - February 27, 2021 (another example exhibited)
      Annely Juda, London, David Hockney, Normandy, January 11 - February 8, 2021 (another example exhibited)
      Gray, New York, Hockney and Normandy, February 22 - March 19, 2021 (another example exhibited)
      LA Louver, Los Angeles, David Hockney, My Normandy, March 9 - May 1, 2021 (another example exhibited)


A Bigger Fire, from My Normandy

iPad drawing in colours, printed on wove paper, with full margins.
I. 72.9 x 104.5 cm (28 3/4 x 41 1/8 in.)
S. 85.4 x 114.5 cm (33 5/8 x 45 1/8 in.)

Signed, dated and numbered 13/35 in pencil, published by the artist (with his blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £69,300

Contact Specialist

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
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Robert Kennan
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Anne Schneider-Wilson
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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022