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Digital Print, 2008
Signed Print Edition of 25
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Celine Fraser, Acquisition Coordinator
Autumn Leaves (2008) by David Hockney is a computer drawing in colours printed on wove paper. The titular autumn leaves occupy the upper part of the print and vie for the viewer’s attention with the multitude of other lively elements of the natural world spread across the image. Rendered in yellow and orange against the background dominated by green tones, the leaves introduce a sense of nostalgia as they carry a message about the inevitability of the changing seasons. Hockney’s representation of nature here resembles a mosaic-like composition. The leafy surface that sprawls across the print is composed entirely from colourful, densely accumulated marks, and exhibits a variety of texture. Further in the back, it displays a subtly lustre quality, making it difficult for the viewer to decide whether they are looking at a leafy ground or a pond covered densely with leaves.
Preceding an extensive collection of iPad drawings produced by the artist from 2010 onwards, the print reveals yet another side of Hockney’s interest in how modern technology can open new avenues for artistic practice. The artist commented in the context of his computer art: ‘The computer is a useful tool. Photoshop is a computer tool for picture making. It in effect allows you to draw directly in a printing machine, one of its many uses. One draws with the colours the printing machine has, and reprinting machine is one anyone can have. They are now superior to any other kind of printing, but because it’s very slow, of limited commercial appeal.’