David Hockney, the renowned British artist, has created a number of artworks depicting cats over his long career. Known for his vibrant use of colour and his distinctive style, Hockney captures the feline form with allure and personality. Now Christie’s Auctioneers in London is selling a rare example of Hockney’s three-dimensional work, a painted and glazed ceramic figure depicting a cat. It goes under the hammer in their Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale 29 JUNE 01:00 PM BST | LIVE AUCTION 21887. with an estimate of £15,000 – £25,000
In this artwork, Hockney explores the unique nature of cats, portraying an enigmatic and independent quality. There is even a hint that the face may be a self-portrait. The glazed earthenware figure is lifesize measuring 12 5/8 x 15 3/4 x 6 1/8in. (34.5 x 40 x 15.5cm.). This early work was executed in 1955 and is one of six unique versions produced while he was still at Bradford School of Art. Provenance states it came from a Private Collection in the United Kingdom, where it was acquired directly from the artist.
Hockney’s cat paintings often portray these creatures in domestic settings, capturing their graceful movements, inquisitive expressions, and the mystery surrounding them. One notable painting depicting a cat by Hockney is his “Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy”. Created in the early 1970s, this portrait shows his friends, fashion designer Ossie Clark and his wife, Celia Birtwell, along with their white cat named Percy. It was voted by the public the most popular painting at Tate Britain and is held in the Gallery’s permanent collection. The painting captures the intimate relationship between the couple and their beloved pet, highlighting the positive role cats can play in people’s lives.
Hockney’s approach to cats varies in style and technique. Some of his works feature bold, colourful compositions, while others employ a more restrained and subtle palette. He has experimented with different mediums, including oil paint, watercolour, and digital art, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
Hockney’s sculpture of a cat shows his technical skill and conveys a sense of affection, humour and understanding for these fuzzy creatures. Through his art, he captures the essence of cats, their unique personalities, and the deep connections that humans form with them.
The popularity of Hockney’s cats extends beyond the art world. Cat lovers and enthusiasts have been captivated by his ability to portray these beloved pets with warmth and sensitivity. His cat paintings have been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide, allowing audiences to appreciate the beauty and charm of feline companions through Hockney’s artistic vision.
David Hockney was born on 9 July 1937. He is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. Hockney is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He has made significant contributions to the art world through his distinctive style and exploration of various mediums.
Hockney was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, and showed a keen interest in art from a young age. He attended the Bradford School of Art in the late 1950s and later studied at the Royal College of Art in London. During his time at the Royal College, Hockney developed his unique artistic voice, drawing inspiration from various sources, including modernism and contemporary culture.
In the early 1960s, Hockney gained recognition for his swimming pool paintings depicting Southern California’s sunny, vibrant landscapes. These works showcased his ability to capture the play of light and shadow and his fascination with the human figure concerning its surroundings. Hockney’s use of bold colours and clean lines became synonymous with his style and contributed to his growing reputation as a leading figure in the Pop Art movement.
Throughout his career, Hockney experimented with different artistic techniques and mediums. He explored collage and photomontage, using Polaroid photographs to create unique compositions. In the 1980s, he embraced new technology and began making art on computer and iPad screens, further pushing the boundaries of traditional artistic practices.
Hockney’s versatility extended beyond the canvas. He collaborated with theatre and opera companies, designing sets and costumes for numerous productions, including Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress.” His ability to translate his artistic vision onto the stage demonstrated his versatility and creativity as an artist.
Over the years, Hockney’s work has been exhibited in major art institutions worldwide, including the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. His art has been celebrated for its vibrant colours, bold compositions, and a sense of joy that permeates each piece.
Aside from his artistic contributions, Hockney is known for his candid and outspoken nature. He has been an advocate for gay rights and has used his platform to address social and political issues. His openness about his sexuality and personal life has paved the way for greater acceptance and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community within the art world and beyond.
David Hockney’s impact on the art world is immeasurable. His work continues to inspire and captivate audiences, and his willingness to explore new mediums and push artistic boundaries has solidified his status as a true innovator. Through his paintings, drawings, photography, and stage designs, Hockney has left an indelible mark on the art world and has secured his place as one of the most celebrated artists of our time.
Other interesting lots in the sale:
PETER DOIG (B. 1959) Hockey Head Estimate GBP 100,000 – GBP 150,000, ED RUSCHA (B. 1937) Rut Estimate GBP 220,000 – GBP 280,000, CY TWOMBLY (1928-2011) Untitled Estimate GBP 180,000 – GBP 250,000, GEORGE CONDO (B. 1957) Portrait of Marie Antoinette’s Three Eyes Estimate GBP 120,000 – GBP 180,000
Top Photo: David Hockney Ceramic Sculpture of a Cat Courtesy Christie’s
David Hockney Ceramic Sculpture of a Cat – Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale 29 JUNE 01:00 PM BST | LIVE AUCTION 21887.