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The Steering Wheel, Oct 1982

The Steering Wheel, Oct 1982
Signed Print

David Hockney

Mixed Media, 1982
Signed Print Edition of 20
H 75cm x W 90cm

Critical Review

This signed print by British artist David Hockney is a stand-out example of one of the artist’s famous photo collages, known as ‘joiners’. An artistic embodiment of the artist’s nuanced and philosophical approach to photography, this print is part of an edition of 20 created in 1982, a year which saw the artist show his photographic experiments at the André Emmerich Gallery in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Committing the wide-open spaces of the American West to paper in a way which does justice to what he called their ‘spaciousness’ and ‘vast extent’, Hockney uses his refined photographic collage process to depict a scene of a road in Bryce Canyon, Utah. The mirror makes a return appearance – this time to the left of the composition, and in the form of the Mercedes’ side mirrors – and catches the movement of another car as it travels down the flat and winding desert road. Individual close-up photographs reveal the mottled structure of the leather covering the car’s steering wheel. Once again, Hockney’s feet appear at the bottom of the piece, anchoring the scene in the artist’s lived experience. A composite piece, this print reveals ‘what it’s like to live in the world’ rather than simply conveying ‘the point of view of a paralyzed Cyclops’ – a pejorative phrase Hockney once used to describe the photographic medium.