[January 25 2019]
At 81, David Hockney is constantly reinventing himself. On the four walls of its petit salon, Galerie Lelong & Co shows four, large format “New Photographic Works”, as dense and intimate as they are unsettling for the viewer. By means of photomontage, subtle tweaking of shades and perspective distortions, the artist depicts himself in his studio, and stares calmly at the audience in the midst of his most recent works.
These four photographic objects seem to brightly materialize the confluence of two major processes that Hockney has been exploring for decades, with a life-long interrogation on perspective and intimacy. Photomontage -that he started using in the 1970s with his “Joiners”- is here combined with sophisticated post-processing methods: these digital experimentations began in 1985 with drawings on Quantel Paintbox and later continued with his renowned “iPad drawings”.
Beyond Hockney’s technique, the viewer perceives the echoes of his “Secret Knowledge” essays from 2001 and 2006, a study about the evolution of perspective and its distortions in ancient paintings. In some of his most recent paintings the works were mounted on frames with lower cut corners, recreating his very-own conception of “inverted perspective”. This peculiar form, now part of Hockney’s realm, is taken here by one of the displayed photographs.
Photo and text Paul Mouginot