This lithograph of Celia Birtwell is one of numerous portraits with which Hockney has celebrated his close friendship with the designer over the years. Celia first met Hockney in Los Angeles in 1964. With her husband Ossie Clark, she was at the top of the fashion industry in London in the 'Swinging Sixties'. Clark designed clothes using Birtwell's textile designs, and sold them from the shop Quorum in Chelsea's King's Road. The couple are most famously represented in Hockney's large double portrait Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, 1970-1 (Tate Gallery T01269).
In Red Celia Hockney's use of brushwork rather than lithographic crayons conveys a sense of movement and energy. The all-red lithograph owes a great deal to Matisse and Picasso. Hockney depicts the sitter's face from two viewpoints, profile and frontal… (read more)