David Hockney (British, born 1937) Ianthe Cornwall-Jones 1967
Lot 8AR
David Hockney
(British, born 1937)
Ianthe Cornwall-Jones
1967
Sold for £ 75,000 (US$ 94,214) inc. premium

Lot Details
David Hockney (British, born 1937)
Ianthe Cornwall-Jones
1967

signed with the artist's initials, dated 67 and inscribed Carrenac
watercolour on paper

41 by 33 cm.
16 1/8 by 13 in.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Gift from the artist to the present owner in 1967

    Literature
    Peter Webb, Portrait of David Hockney, London 1988, n.p., no. 106, illustrated in colour (incorrectly titled)



    Brian Young and David Hockney first met whilst the former was a student at the world-renowned Central St Martin's School of Art in London and Hockney was at the Royal College of Art in 1961. Hockney, as an early developer, was already represented by this time by the legendary dealer Paul Kasmin and it was he who made the introduction to Young. This was a period of vertiginous creativity in London with artists and creatives gathering at the Institute of Contemporary Art in its old location on Dover Street, all under the watchful eye of the great writers and ICA founding directors Roland Penrose and Herbert Read.

    During the early 1960s Hockney had spent a great deal of time in Los Angeles experimenting with film-making and broadening his compositional horizons. Young was at this stage a member of the British Situationist group and so whilst their styles were at odds a lifelong friendship emerged during brief reunions during Hockney's visits to London and was then cemented in the first of many trips to Kasmin's rented holiday home at Carennac in southern France. The present work was executed during this hedonistic stay in the Château de Carennac, painted en plein air in watercolour, a medium with which the artist tussled throughout his career. The subject was the first wife of the noted publisher and print-maker Paul Cornwall-Jones, founder of Alecto Prints and later the Petersberg Press and long-time collaborator with artists including Hockney and Hodgkin who was also in the holiday party at Carennac that year.

    To say that the chateau was a hub of creativity that summer of 1967 is a significant understatement; alongside Hockney and Hodgkin were appearances from Patrick Caulfield, the fashion designer Ossie Clarke, the dancer Wayne Sleep and Terence Conran amongst others. The atmosphere in which the present work was created was underpinned by the locally made and copious eau de vie de prune and by a freedom of expression so typical of the period. The facility with colour and naturalism of the composition are classic hallmarks of Hockney's work and yet the unfinished appearance of the subject hints at the artist's lack of confidence with the medium though surely this is misplaced: the fluency of the brushstroke and the precision of the colour belies the speed of the work's execution. This is a pivotal period for the artist and the present work is one of the last watercolours that he produced for the larger part of his oeuvre and certainly one of the very few remaining watercolours from, the 1960s. It is a profoundly rare, intensely personal and exquisite work from the pioneering heart of Hockney's incomparable career.
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