David Hockney

Bob, London

1964

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

Medium
Graphite, crayon and gouache on paper
Dimensions
Support: 500 x 402 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Klaus Anschel in memory of his wife Gerty 1997
Reference
T07295

Summary

This ink and crayon drawing is one of numerous naturalistic drawings of young men made by Hockney in London in the early 1960s. Many of the images were taken from homoerotic American magazines, but some were drawings of the artist's friends. The picture probably depicts Bobby Earles, a boy Hockney met in Los Angeles in late 1965. A drawing with the title Bob, 'France' was made that year, when Hockney took Earles to London on the ship the S.S. France.

The inscription 'Bob, London' is written in ink, with Hockney's initials and '64' written in pencil. As he and Bob were in London in 1965, it is possible that Hockney signed and dated the drawing at a later time, and was mistaken about the date. Both works are similar in style, delicately drawn and highlighted with pink crayon.

Further reading:
Nikos Stangos (ed.), David Hockney by David Hockney, London 1976, pp.101-2, 134

Terry Riggs
November 1997

Display caption

The model for this delicate pencil and crayon drawing was apparently an American named Bobby Earles, whom Hockney met in Los Angeles and brought back to England. It is one of many figure drawings of youths made by Hockney in London in the early 1960s, at a time when he was exploring his own sexuality. Hockney''s models for these homoerotic drawings were often friends and lovers, but he also used photographs from American gay magazines. The model for this delicate pencil and crayon drawing was apparently an American named Bobby Earles, whom Hockney met in Los Angeles and brought back to England. It is one of many figure drawings of youths made by Hockney in London in the early 1960s, at a time when he was exploring his own sexuality. Hockney''s models for these homoerotic drawings were often friends and lovers, but he also used photographs from American gay magazines.

Gallery label, August 2004

Technique and condition

A figure study, drawn in pencil, crayon and gouache on a thin white wove paper. The pencilled outline of the figure is shaded and modelled in crayon, and stands on a grey gouache painted base.

The smooth paper surface has creases and undulations caused by handling and previous poor mounting and framing. An assessment of the drawing on acquisition proposes treatment to remove discolouration to the paper, and creases and undulations in the support taken out to recover the smooth, flat surface texture.

Calvin Winner
November 1997