David Hockney’s Metropolitan Opera Stravinsky Poster
Original lithographic poster printed by Petersburg Press, USA.
It was published to promote the New York Metropolitan Opera's production of a Stravinsky triple bill of The Rite of Spring, The Nightingale, and Oedipus Rex, with sets and costumes designed by David Hockney.
Hockney’s comments on his designs for the 1981 New York Metropolitan Opera's Stravinsky production are both insightful and thought-provoking: '' What I liked about the program of The Rite of Spring, The Nightingale, and Oedipus Rex at the Metropolitan Opera was how you went from Stravinsky's most kinetic to his most static work for the stage--seemingly from birth and awareness to self-knowledge and death. We conceived it as one total piece of theater.. 'This poster was published to promote the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of a
Stravinsky triple bill of The Rite of Spring, The Nightingale, and Oedipus Rex, with sets and costumes designed by Hockney'.
Eric Shanes commented: ‘In keeping with the nature of these ballets and single-act operas, from top to bottom Hockney gives us a child-like – and thus suitably ‘primitive’ – face, a Chinese-like blue and white face (with its undertones of Ming ceramics) and a classical Greek-like head, which incorporates the imagery of a tragic mask. In this work Hockney’s characteristic eclecticism is employed to powerful visual effect.’
Year of Publication: 1981
Dimensions: 37 x 17 in
96 x 43 cm
Condition: Near fine
Comment: This is one of the few Hockney posters designed entirely by Hockney himself and as
such ranks as a Hockney poster in the true sense of the expression. It is a must for an
aficionado of Hockney posters.
David Hockney was born in Bradford in 1937. Hockney attended Bradford School of Art and Royal College of Art, where he was awarded
a Gold Medal for Etching.
David Hockney was a pioneer of the British Pop Art movement in the early 1960 with artists like Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake and RB Kitaj.
Hockney gained recognition for his semi-abstract paintings on the theme of homosexual love, before it was decriminalized in England in 1967.
In his ground-breaking creation entitled ‘We Two Boys Clinging Together’ in 1961, he depicted red-painted couples embracing one another while floating amidst fragments from a Walt Whitman poem.
He moved to California at the end of 1963 and began painting scenes of the sensual and uninhibited life of athletic young men in the context of swimming pools, palm trees, and perpetual sunshine.
In the mid-1970s, he began experimenting with photography and proceeded to create his now-famous photocollages with Polaroids and snapshots arranged in a grid formation, pushing the two-dimensionality of photography to the limit, fragmenting the monocular vision of the camera and engaging the viewer in the process.
A most prolific and versatile artist, Hockney has produced work in almost every medium, including full-scale opera set designs, prints and drawings using cutting-edge technology as they arose such as fax machines, laser photocopiers, computers, and even iPhones and iPads.
Hockney is a brilliant draughtsman and has emerged not only as the best-known British artist of his generation but also an international artist with a global following, which goes back to his mid-20s.
He has held various teaching posts in America and was the Slade Professor of Fine Art, Cambridge University, 1990.
Hockney’s work is displayed in galleries internationally and he has had a continuous stream of one-man shows around the world.
Among the notable works for the printed page are his illustrations for Cavafy’s Poems, 1967, and Six Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm,
Hockney was elected a Royal Academician in 1991 and was made a Companion of Honour in 1997.
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