Bonhams : David Hockney (British, born 1937) Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree 1965
David Hockney (British, born 1937) Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree 1965

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Lot 23* AR ○
David Hockney
(British, born 1937)
Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree
1965

Sold for £ 350,062 (US$ 445,868) inc. premium
David Hockney (British, born 1937)
Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree
1965

signed, dated 65 and inscribed by order of Kasmin and Continental Hotel Hollywood
coloured pencil and pastel on paper

35.5 by 42.9 cm.
14 by 16 7/8 in.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Kasmin Ltd., London
    André Emmerich Inc., New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1983

    Exhibited
    London, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, David Hockney - Paintings, prints and drawings 1960-1970s, 1970, no. D.35
    Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik, 1977, no. 12 (incorrect dimensions)
    Lisbon, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, David Hockney - Gravura e Desenho, 1977, n.p., no. 4, illustrated in black and white
    New Haven, Yale Center for British Art; Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Bloomfield Hills, Cranbrook Academy of Art; Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery and Atkins Museum of Fine Arts; Washington, Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario; Toledo, The Toledo Museum of Art; San Francisco, The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; Denver, The Denver Art Museum and New York, Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University Faculty of Arts and Science, David Hockney - Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink, 1977 - 1980, n.p., no. 20, illustrated in black and white
    Tehran, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, David Hockney - Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink, 1980, n.p., illustrated in black and white
    London, Tate Gallery, David Hockney - Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink, 1980, n.p., illustrated in black and white
    Cologne, Museum der Stadt Köln, Westkunst, 1981

    Literature
    David Hockney, 72 Drawings by David Hockney, London 1971, n.p., no. 17, illustrated in black and white
    Nikos Stangos, Pictures by David Hockney, London 1976, p. 52, illustrated in black and white (incorrectly titled)
    Nikos Stangos, David Hockney by David Hockney, London 1976, p. 114, illustrated in black and white



    A testament to the exuberant palette and cool nonchalance of Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree (1965) encapsulates the energy and vision with which David Hockney approached contemporary painting in a setting that saw the artist produce his most significant and iconic works. Set in one of his definitive borders, the strong colours of the present work speak to Hockney's romanticising of his Californian lifestyle; blossoming forth with a palpable vitality and a refined composition that calls to mind the angles of Ed Ruscha's gas stations, the florid shapes of Jean Dubuffet's Hourloupe paintings and the Pop palette of Andy Warhol.

    Illustrating his hallmark motifs of palm trees, swimming pools and loungers, Hockney's Hollywood has endured as an image of timeless elegance, expressing the allure of Southern California that drew the artist there for the first time in 1964. Enthralled by the colours and radiant sunlight of the region, his Californian swimming pools have become the most sought after and celebrated works by the artist, held in museums all over the world that include the Tate Collection, London, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Prototypical of his painterly style that combines an aloof realism informed by Cubist forms and the chic lines of Pop Art, Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree reveals a studied approach to the hotels and homes of the Hollywood neighbourhood, resplendent in the vivacious colours that capture the potent exoticism and eroticism of the West Coast.

    Impassioned by Americana, Hockney nonetheless remained a devotee of painting and drawing, absorbed by technical resolutions to best depict his environment and the aesthetic challenges that Modernism had posed to realist painting: "It is a formal problem to represent water," commented Hockney, "it's an interesting one and it's a permanent one [...] It offered an opportunity for abstraction" (the artist in: Nikos Stangos ed., David Hockney by David Hockney, London 1988, p.100). In this way, the artist's works of the mid-1960s present a revitalised and utterly unique vision of the landscape through the lens of Pop Art; a fresh approach to representing his surroundings in which Hockney combined traditionalist realism with contemporary exuberance.

    Undoubtedly, in Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree Hockney positions himself alongside the vanguard painters of his day, sampling the seductiveness of Pop artists like Ruscha and Tom Wesselmann, and inspired by the shapes and patterns of Dubuffet's Hourloupe cycle. This vivid mix of style and setting produces a drawing of eloquent simplicity, integral as his works on paper were to producing the large-format masterworks for which Hockney is so acclaimed. It is in such works as Peter Getting out of Nick's Pool (1966) and A Bigger Splash (1967) – in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and Tate Collection respectively – that the importance of Hockney's drawings can be appreciated, employing shifting perspectives and brilliant passages of colour.

    Exemplifying Hockney's revered works made between 1964 and 1967, Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree is a work that is immediately identifiable as coming from this momentous period in his career. Featuring Hockney's quintessential device of a deep border, the fixtures of the artist's Californian milieu are drawn with typical verve; the artist's versatile draughtsmanship as unmistakable in the crests of the swimming pool's ripples as it is in the pile of the rose-pink carpet.

    A work that has been widely exhibited, previously included in a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, in 1970, and the exhibition David Hockney – Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink that toured globally between 1977 before its final view at the Tate Gallery, London, in 1980, the present work has since remained in the same collection for more than 35 years. In what remains the artist's seminal subject matter, Hollywood Pool and Palm Tree delivers a precise and harmonious vista across a classic Hockney scene, priding the colours and characters of the artist's California period that proclaim his formal investigations and his American dream come to life.

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