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Panama Hat On A Chair With Jacket

Panama Hat On A Chair With Jacket
Signed Print

David Hockney

Intaglio, 1972
Signed Print Edition of 125
H 41cm x W 34cm

Critical Review

Much like Panama Hat On A Chair, another similar work in David Hockney’s Chairs series, Panama Hat On A Chair With Jacket is a visual tribute to one of the artist’s lifelong friends and supporters, Henry Geldzahler. Born in Belgium in 1935, Geldzahler and his family emigrated to the United States in 1940. The cigar-toting, larger-than-life character went on to become the first curator for 20th-century art at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, introducing Hockney to the likes of Dennis Hopper and Andy Warhol during his first visits to the city in the early ‘60s. Despite the absence of any figure from this print, it remains full of life; through the representation of Geldzahler’s possessions – a jacket, a panama hat, an empty glass, and a pipe, all sat atop the ghostly suggestion of one of Hockney’s signature chairs – absence comes to suggest presence, shifting the work from a still life to a kind of rhetorical portrait. The stripes of Geldzahler’s blazer are geometric and hard-edged, recalling the graphic nature of much of Hockney’s wider œuvre. Lending the scene a source of rich, texture and depth-inducing contrast, the jacket mimics the widespread use of drapery in art history – referencing, perhaps, Hockney’s continued love and admiration of canonical art figures, such as Michelangelo.