David Hockney R.A. (British, born 1937) John Schlesinger, Los Angeles, 26 August 1999 56.5 x 38.2 cm. (22 1/4 x 15 in.)

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Lot 5AR
David Hockney R.A.
(British, born 1937)
John Schlesinger, Los Angeles, 26 August 1999 56.5 x 38.2 cm. (22 1/4 x 15 in.)

Sold for £ 32,562 (US$ 40,668) inc. premium
David Hockney R.A. (British, born 1937)
John Schlesinger, Los Angeles, 26 August 1999
signed with initials and dated 'DH/99' (lower right)
pencil and white crayon
56.5 x 38.2 cm. (22 1/4 x 15 in.)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With LA Louver, California, 2000, where acquired by
    Private Collection, U.S.A.
    Gifted to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), circa 2003

    The present work is being sold by BAFTA and the proceeds will go towards Illuminating BAFTA, an ambitious campaign to redevelop the Academy's headquarters enabling BAFTA to double its the year-round charitable work to identify and support the next generation of new talent in film, games and television. It will also enable BAFTA to increase public engagement, welcoming many more people through their doors and expanding its activities around the country, instilling thousands more people with a love for and appreciation of the art and craft of film, games and television.

    In 1999, Hockney purchased a camera lucida, to investigate how artists such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) might have used lens-based devices to trace projected images. Hockney produced over 200 portraits using this method and the use of lenses in historical painting, both camera lucida and camera obscura, became a source of fascination to him. In 2001 he published his theories on the subject in Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters which revolutionised accepted thinking as to the role of optic devices throughout art history.

    The famed film director John Schlesinger (1926-2003) is a most apt sitter for Hockney's camera based project, and as Hockney recalled some years later the strengths of their respective arts were the subject of conversation:

    'The interesting thing is I was never that interested in movies. I was interested in them as a thing, but I didn't want to make movies. I always wanted to draw and paint. What's the point? John Schlesinger told me this story of a secretary who used to work at the Chicago Art Institute. After that, the secretary worked for this Hollywood director, and he said to her, "You don't stop going to the museum because those pictures don't talk and they don't move and they last longer." I thought, Oh, that's very good. Yes, they do last longer. It was interesting' (David Hockney in conversation with Michael Govan, 5 November 2013).

    Among the many accolades of Schlesinger's distinguished career are five directing BAFTAs including Best Feature Director for 'Midnight Cowboy' in 1970 and 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday' in 1976, as well as the Academy's highest honour, The Fellowship, in 1996. Following Schlesinger's death in 2003, BAFTA LA inaugurated the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing which is presented to notable directors, whose creative contribution represents the zenith of the directing profession.

    We are grateful to David Hockney Inc. for their assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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