"David Hockney ladling coloured pulp into galvanised metal moulds for ""Paper pools"" project early proof in the paper mill at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York, 1978
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Lindsay GREEN"

Only David Hockney has worked in all four Ken Tyler workshops. The English–born artist (1937) has spent many years, on and off, living in America—where some of his most exciting prints have been made; where the discovery of a new technique, a new method of printmaking, often served as a catalyst to explore a new artistic focus.

The first group of prints Tyler and Hockney made together was a set of six colour lithographs, A Hollywood Collection 1965, at the Gemini Ltd workshop on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Each print is in the form of a different genre of painting—a still life, a landscape, a portrait, a cityscape, a nude and an abstract—an instant art collection.

Hockney and Tyler collaborated again in 1973. Drawing directly onto the stone or plate suited the artist, and he was given a ‘complete palette of colour’ and a ‘complete palette of drawing techniques’; and the subtlety of the washes he could achieve were of a kind that he had never been offered before. He produced a group of accomplished, evocative and sometimes witty colour lithographs, the Weather series, with references to Japanese prints.

On a vist to Tyler’s Bedford workshop in 1978, Hockney discovered paper pulp. After some experimentation he found he could ‘paint’ with this medium and this experience furthered his gift as a colourist and extended the possibilities of paper work. For example, he developed multi–sheet compositions, including A diver, paper pool 17 1978.

In the mid–1980s, Hockney made a series of 29 prints in colour lithography consisting of interior views and chairs, views of a Mexican hotel, and portraits, including collaged portraits of Celia Birtwell and Gregory Evans. Titled the Moving Focus series, it is a summation of Hockney’s obsession with space—the depiction of space, the use of reverse perspective, the experience of being within a space, and exploring multipoint perspective. In this series the artist drew from lessons learned from his study of Cubism, and his own set designs for opera.

Jane Kinsman

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated July 2014