David Hockney

An Image of Celia


David Hockney born 1937
Lithograph on paper
Image: 1525 × 1051 mm
frame:1700 × 1220 × 55 mm
TF: 1834 × 1375 × 160 mm
Presented by the artist 1993


This is one of numerous portraits of Celia Birtwell with which Hockney has celebrated his close friendship with the designer over the years. Celia first met Hockney in Los Angeles in 1964. She is most famously represented in Hockney's large double portrait Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, 1970-1 (Tate Gallery T01269). 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.

Made at a time when Hockney was experimenting with composite photographs, this complex, forty-two colour lithograph contains multiple representations of the sitter in an armchair and uses the strong primary colours which are typical of the artist's work of this period. For one of the two representations of Celia's face Hockney uses an image taken from his portrait of Celia made for the cover of the December 1985 - January 1986 issue of French Vogue. The second head is taken from the lithograph Red Celia, 1984 (Tate Gallery P20109). An Image of Celia is one of several prints in which the influence of Picasso on Hockney's art is explicit.

Further reading:
Nikos Stangos (ed.), David Hockney by David Hockney, London 1976
David Hockney: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles 1988, pp.50-1, reproduced in colour
Marco Livingstone, David Hockney: Etchings and Lithographs, exhibition catalogue, Waddington Graphics, London 1988, reproduced pl.92 in colour

Terry Riggs
November 1997

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

You might like

In the shop