Hockney, David (b.1937), 'The Arrival', Etching and Aquatint, 1961-63

'The Arrival', Etching and Aquatint, 1961-63

Please Note: This item is not for sale.
Signed and numbered in pencil. Printed on Barcham Green handmade paper by C.H.Welch, London, and published by Editions Alecto in 1963 (sheet bears their blindstamp). From the edition of 50, there were also 10 artist's proofs.

This work, the first in the ‘Rake’s Progress’ series, is a self-portrait of Hockney as he set foot in New York for the first time with his trademark glasses and striped tie. The words ‘Flying Tyger’ refer to the name of the charter plane Hockney flew with, and rendered as they are in dramatic perspective serve to visually propel him forwards towards the beckoning skyscrapers in the distance. The wild staccato strokes in the foreground further conjure up a vivid sense of the speed and vitality Hockney sensed upon arrival in the city. He recalled “I was taken by the sheer energy of the place. It was amazingly sexy, and unbelievably easy. People were much more open and I felt completely free”.

Reference: Tokyo 12.

Collections: Tate Gallery (London), V & A (London), MOMA (New York), Art Institute of Chicago, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, National Gallery of Australia (Canberra).

Plate Size: 30.3 x 40.5 cm
Paper Size: 49 x 57.8 cm


‘A Rake’s Progress’ is Hockney’s first and most celebrated print series. On his 24th birthday, Hockney set out to New York on what was to be one of the most thrilling and pivotal journeys of his early career. The set of sixteen etchings takes as it’s starting point Hogarth’s 1732 series of eight paintings of the same title, which depict the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell from riches to madness. Hockney would have seen this much-lauded group in the collection of London’s John Soane museum, where they still reside. Hockney recalled, “My original intention was…to take Hogarth’s titles and somehow play with them and set it in New York in modern times. What I liked was telling a story just visually”. ‘A Rake’s Progress’ was produced over a two year period, from 1961 to 1963 and were published to great acclaim by Editions Alecto in association with the Royal College of Art in December 1963.