David Hockney - David Hockney London Thursday, September 21, 2023 | Phillips

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  • David Hockney’s Fish and Chip Shop (1954) was produced when Hockney was just 17 years old and studying at the Bradford School of Art. Offering a rare insight into the early stages of the artist’s career, the present lot portrays the owners Hayden and Janet Smith behind the counter of their fish and chip shop in Eccleshill, Bradford. Echoing Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942), Hockney depicts himself in the far right leaning against the counter while observing the couple. The Smith's shop was located just around the corner from where Hockney lived whilst at art school and he would visit regularly in the hope of securing some leftover fish and chips. As a gesture of his gratitude, the artist gifted the couple with one of the handful of Fish and Chip Shop prints he made. The proprietors proudly displayed it above the fryers until the establishment’s closure in 1970. This print, together with Woman with a Sewing Machine (1954), provides a tender insight into the artist's formative years and stands as one of the earliest and most rare prints produced by the artist.

    Hockney enrolled at the Bradford School of art in 1953, aged 16, and he was overjoyed to leave grammar school to study art. "It was thrilling," he said, "to be at a school where I knew I would enjoy everything they asked me to do. I loved it all and I used to spend twelve hours a day in the art school." The school emphasised the importance of observational drawing and traditional study of perspective, anatomy and tonal values. Despite his young age, Hockney’s adept understanding of draughtsmanship, colour and composition is evident in the prints he made at this time. From this early point, Hockney began harnessing the potentials of graphic techniques – a practise he has consistently upheld throughout his career.

    • Provenance

      The artist
      Kasmin Gallery, London
      Alan Cristea Gallery, London
      Private Collection
      Christie's London, Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints, 5 December 2000, lot 196
      Alan Cristea Gallery, London
      Acquired directly from the above by the present owner, circa 2000

    • Literature

      Scottish Arts Council 3
      Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 3

    • Artist Biography

      David Hockney

      David Hockney (b. 1937) is one of the most well-known and celebrated artists of the
      20th and 21st centuries. He works across many mediums, including painting, collage,
      and more recently digitally, by creating print series on iPads. His works show semi-
      abstract representations of domestic life, human relationships, floral, fauna, and the
      changing of seasons.

      Hockney has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Royal
      Academy of Arts in London, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among many
      other institutions. On the secondary market, his work has sold for more than $90

      View More Works


Fish and Chip Shop (S.A.C. 3, M.C.A.T. 3)

Lithograph in colours, on cartridge paper (backed to Japan), trimmed to the image at all four edges.
S. 41.6 x 36.1 cm (16 3/8 x 14 1/4 in.)
One of approximately 5 proofs of which only some were initialed (there was no published edition), printed by the artist, framed.

Full Cataloguing

£15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for £57,150

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David Hockney

London Auction 21 September 2023