David Hockney

An Image of Ken

1985

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Image: 760 x 555 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the artist 1993
Reference
P20120

Summary

The sitter for this print, Ken Tyler, was also portrayed in Hockney's 1973 etching The Master Printer of Los Angeles. He worked with Hockney on many of the artist's lithographs. When Hockney visited Tyler's graphic workshop at Bedford Village, outside New York City, in 1978, the printer introduced Hockney to a technique which combined painting with print-making, showing him works in this medium by Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland. Hockney, attracted by the sensuous, tactile quality and brilliant colour of the liquid colour pulp, used the technique himself in his series of twenty-nine Paper Pools (1978).

This is one of several prints in which overtones of Picasso's art are explicit. Hockney presents multiple viewpoints of the sitter's face. Following Picasso's death in 1973, the work of the Spanish modern master increasingly influenced Hockney. He produced The Student: Homage to Picasso for a portfolio commemorating Picasso's death.

Further reading:
Marco Livingstone, David Hockney, revised edition, London 1987, p.200
David Hockney: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles 1988, pp.50-1

Terry Riggs
November 1997