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DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOHN HOCKNEY
DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Self-Portrait

Details
DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937) Self-Portrait lithograph printed in colours with hand additions in pen and ink, 1954, on wove paper, signed and dated in blue ink, a very good impression of this rare print, one of only five known impressions, printed by the artist, Bradford, the colours fresh, in good condition, framed Sheet 298 x 258 mm.
Provenance
Laura Hockney (1900-1999), Bradford; a gift from the artist.
By descent from the above. 
Literature
Scottish Arts Council 1; Tokyo 1
David Hockney, Paintings, prints and drawings 1960-1970, The Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2 April - 3 May 1970, exhib. cat., no. P1 (another impression illustrated).
Mark Glazebrook, David Hockney Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2006, exhib. cat. p. 26.
R. LLoyd, Hockney Printmaker, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 5 February - 11 May 2014, exhib. cat., no. 46 (another impression illustrated).
C. Simon Sykes, Hockney A Rake's Progress, Volume I, Century London, p. 42-44.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

'positively prophetic in its fluent use of line, its bright colour, its technical experimentation and in its direct, confident, quirky self-presentation' (Mark Glazebrook, former Director of the Whitechapel Gallery)
This early lithograph belongs to a small group of self-portraits which David Hockney made at the age of seventeen, while a student at Bradford College of Art. It depicts the young artist seated in the front bedroom of his childhood home at 18 Hutton Terrace, Eccleshill, which he had converted into a makeshift studio. This arrangement caused his mother Laura some distress. Lamenting in her diary ‘Our front bedroom is in a terrible state. What it is to have an artist son!!’, she goes on, 'He is doing a full-length portrait of himself and has the wardrobe mirror dismantled and propped up where he can see it – a table littered with paints – brushes – etc – but he dropped paint on the carpet just where he hadn’t covered it with newspapers!’. The painting to which she refers is the earliest of the self-portraits, a three-quarter view of the artist, with a tousled fringe, executed in the muted tones of the Euston Road School. The youthful reticence conveyed by this painting is very different to the self-assured, frontal pose of the lithograph which followed shortly after. At the time Hockney was a great admirer of the painter Stanley Spencer, and in his printed self-portrait he self-consciously models his appearance on that of the older artist. With his hair cut in a fringe, wearing Spencer-esque prescription glasses, Hockney shows his feeling of confraternity with Spencer, declaring his newfound identity as an artist.
Hockney was introduced to lithography by his tutor Derek Stafford, who regarded the young artist as one of the most talented students he had ever taught. One of three lithographs from 1954, Self-portrait is one of his earliest forays into printmaking, an artform which Hockney has employed extensively throughout his career. This lithograph, comprising five separate zinc plates, one for each colour, is technically ambitious for a first attempt. Undaunted by the complexities of inking and registration, the young Hockney clearly relished its facility for vibrant areas of flat colour and patterned effect. Evoking the intimiste domestic interiors of Vuillard and Bonnard, he transmutes the familiar surroundings of his Bradford home into hues of saffron yellow and magenta red, an imaginative leap which perfectly illustrates his credo that ‘the moment you cheat for the sake of beauty you know you’re an artist’.
Handprinted by the young artist, no doubt using an art department press, the very few surviving proofs are often slightly misregistered, with corrections in pencil or ink, the margins ink thumbed and a little tulgey. Of the five known impressions, three are printed with a flesh tone on the hands and face. The remaining two, including this example, are pale yellow in these areas. Unlike the professionally printed etchings and lithographs he would later make with master printers from around the world, Self-portrait is endearingly handmade, and a very personal testament of the young artist. It can be no accident that Hockney chose to give this print to his much-loved mother, Laura Hockney, who in turn, on her death in 1999, bequeathed it her youngest son, John Hockney.

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