Gray is pleased to participate in the 2021 edition of Art Basel Unlimited.
For this sector, Gray presents the immersive installation of David Hockney’s photographic drawing, Pictures at an Exhibition, 2018/2021, produced in life-size scale for the first time.
"Of the studio, and born out of the studio, these new works break painting and photography free from the blind alley of historical discourse and behavior where they have been content to reside since Brunelleschi."
Throughout his long career, David Hockney has embraced new technologies with the aim of opening up temporal, spatial, and perspectival capabilities. Never content to rely on the construct of one-point perspective, Hockney has employed the Polaroid camera, Xerox, fax machine, Photoshop, and the iPhone and iPad in pursuit of expanding the visual experience.
New Work with a Camera, Hockney’s first solo exhibition at Gray Chicago in 1983, presented a suite of the artist’s earliest Polaroid photocollages, created by layering and stitching together individual analog photographs.
Recently, Hockney developed a process of ‘photographic drawing’ by combining three-dimensional photography and modeling software. Again, he turns his viewers’ eyes inward to his studio, to the space of creation and to the many conversants participating within his artistic process. In 2018, Gray hosted a solo exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s new photographic drawings titled Time and More, Space and More…, featuring a large-scale version of Pictures at an Exhibition.
Beyond the technological achievement of its production in life-size scale, Pictures at an Exhibition is a meditation on the act of viewing art and the passage of time: it defies conventional pictorial space and narrative, communicating three-dimensional space and time upon a two-dimensional picture field.
"Each photograph, made in its own time, then contextualizes time in the company of the next photograph: a progression of taking, adjusting, and taking: the closest photography could get to [Hockney’s] painting.”
In the exhibition catalogue for Time and More, Space and More…, acclaimed British-European artist Tacita Dean, David Hockney’s long-time friend and colleague, ponders the sense of time within the images of his photographic drawings:
“Driving down Westwood Boulevard, I listened to David talk on the radio about time in painting. A painting holds time, the time of its manufacture: the sedimentation of the minutes, hours, and days it has taken to make. Time issues change and the subtlety of this progression of thinking, adjusting, and rethinking is what a painting is. Painting is time made manifest in the production of image...
"... A photograph, David continued, is made up of one time: from the top left-hand corner to the bottom right, it is all the same fraction of a second old. For Cartier-Bresson, that fraction of a second was his universe, but it was never enough to hold David’s attention. For another artist, that ennui with the technological limitations of a medium might be enough to settle them into a lifetime working where they were comfortable, but David is insatiably curious.
He set about finding a way to bring time into photography and began taking multiple Polaroids, then photographs, of a given subject and placing them side by side across the picture plane. Each photograph, made in its own time, then contextualizes time in the company of the next photograph: a progression of taking, adjusting, and taking: the closest photography could get to his painting.”
Tacita Dean, “Foreword,” David Hockney: Time and More, Space and More...
Click here to access the full essay.
David Hockney (British, b. 1937) has produced some of the most vividly recognizable and influential works of the twentieth century. Hockney gained notoriety in his mid-twenties, after receiving the Gold Medal from London’s Royal College of Art, and he quickly became one of the defining figures of the British Pop Art movement.
Hockney has received a vast number of awards and honors, including the First Annual Award of Achievement from the Archives of American Art, Los Angeles; membership to the Board of Trustees of the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust, New York; Distinguished Honoree of the National Arts Association, Los Angeles; the Lorenzo de Medici Lifetime Career Award of the Florence Biennale; and nine honorary degrees from institutions worldwide. In 1997, he was made a Companion of Honour from the British and Commonwealth Order for his outstanding achievement in the arts.
David Hockney’s work can be found in numerous distinguished public collections around the world, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Institute of Chicago; the National Portrait Gallery, London; The Tate Gallery, London; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Museum of Modern Art, Vienna; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. He lives and works in Bridlington, England, Los Angeles, California, and Normandy, France.