Rampant is a signed lithographic print by British artist David Hockney. Issued in an edition of 50, it was created in 1991 at a time when Hockney was experimenting at length with abstraction. Like other works in this series, it eschews the prescriptive limitations of representational art, opting instead to undertake a two-dimensional rendering of three-dimensional space. It is part of the artist’s Abstractions series.
This signed print by British artist David Hockney was issued in a limited edition of 50 in 1991. Its title, Rampant, evokes exactly what Hockney is trying to achieve with this abstracted work; much like some other works in the Hockney And The Stage series, it rejects the prescriptive approach of representational art, invoking an expressive style designed to convey ethereal and immaterial subjects, such as movement and emotion. From the centre of the image, a smoke-like plume of blue emanates from a stage-like base. Flanking these ethereal and gestural lines, Hockney’s etching needle scrubs away at a layer of applied ink to reveal a deep layer of texture, itself reminiscent of a stage curtain – one of Hockney’s much loved rhetorical devices. Although dissimilar to Hockney’s more conventionally representational stage designs, such as those he made for a 1975 showing of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress — a tale first told by English artist William Hogarth, which Hockney updated for the 20th century in his print series of the same name — the piece’s allusion to the stage curtain accords it a sense of theatricality. Rampant foretells of the artist’s heavily abstracted stage designs, produced in November of the following year, for a run of Strauss’s Die Frau Ohne Schatten at London’s Royal Opera.