David Hockney (b.1937) is celebrated as one of Britain’s foremost living artists and this collection of posters lays testament to his mastery of a wide variety of mediums, from painting and drawing to set design, photography and printmaking. This collection includes 31 different posters dating from 1968 to 1994. These posters were produced not only for solo shows of Hockney’s work but also for film and music festivals, the Olympic Games, opera productions and group shows across both Europe and America.
While some posters are the compositions of other designers featuring Hockney’s works such as that designed by Gordon House for Hockney’s 1974 show at the Louvre in Paris others are original designs entirely by Hockney, such as his screenprint for the Stravinsky triple-bill at the New York Metropolitan Opera of 1981. For others Hockney reproduced an image he had already created but added an original element such as the border on his poster for the ‘Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink’ exhibition held at the Tate in 1980 or the lettering on his 1983 poster for the Royal Opera House. As Eric Shanes writes in his foreword to the 1987 ‘Hockney Posters’ book, although ‘Hockney’s output as an original poster maker has been a comparatively small one...his willingness to contribute, either directly (in the case of added lettering) or indirectly (as with the allowing of the use of his images by others) to the creation of posters of his works, has meant that a by-no-means insignificant body of designs has come into being. And these designs, by making the reproduction of works of art a controlled process, have often elevated such reproduction onto a new plane, making us more, rather than less, conscious of the inherent visual qualities of the original pictures they reproduce’.
For further information on Hockney posters and a catalogue raisonne of poster designs see either ‘Hockney Posters’ published by Guild Publishing in 1987 or ‘Off the Wall - Hockney Posters’ published by Pavilion Books Limited in 1994.