Slightly Damaged Chair, Malibu

Slightly Damaged Chair, Malibu
Signed Print

David Hockney

Lithograph, 1973
Signed Print Edition of 60
H 59cm x W 48cm

Critical Review

Like the print Sofa 8501 Hedges Place, this minimal etching recalls German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer’s famous studies of pillows. Attentive to folds and other minor defects in the surface of the ‘slightly damaged’ chair, Hockney operates with a lightness of touch that seeks to bring out a level of nuance and detail from an otherwise quotidian domestic object. There is a photorealist element to the piece, which references Hockney’s long-standing use of photography as a visual aid for his work. Such is Hockney’s interest in the role of visual aids in painting that in 2001, Hockney advanced a theory that has come to be known as the Hockney-Falco Thesis. This theory postulates that advances in realism and accuracy in Western painting during the 17th , 18th, and 19th centuries was largely the result of optical instruments, such as curved mirrors, the camera obscura, and the camera lucida – a technology that Hockney himself used himself in order to create a series of drawings in 1999. In 1973, at the time of this piece’s production, Hockney spent a large amount of time at the Gemini G.E.L. printing studio working on The Weather Series. Like these evocative yet minimal pieces, which were first inspired by a trip Hockney made to Japan following his breakup with Peter Schlesinger, this print maintains considerable distance from the artist’s figurative depictions of friends, such as Celia Birtwell, and recalls themes of loneliness and isolation.