£4,100-£6,000 VALUE (EST.)
$7,500-$11,000 VALUE (EST.)
$7,000-$10,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥35,000-¥50,000 VALUE (EST.)
€4,650-€7,000 VALUE (EST.)
$40,000-$60,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥660,000-¥970,000 VALUE (EST.)
$5,000-$7,500 VALUE (EST.)
This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 40cm x W 28cm
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|Auction Date||Auction House||Artwork|
Return to Seller
|September 2015||Sotheby's Online - United Kingdom||Diploma - Signed Print|
|December 2014||Bonhams New Bond Street - United Kingdom||Diploma - Signed Print|
|February 2012||Christie's London - United Kingdom||Diploma - Signed Print|
|September 2007||Sotheby's New York - United States||Diploma - Signed Print|
|April 2003||Christie's London - United Kingdom||Diploma - Signed Print|
|November 1995||Christie's New York - United States||Diploma - Signed Print|
This signed print by venerated British artist David Hockney - entitled Diploma - was issued in an edition of 50 in 1962, whilst the artist was still a student at London’s Royal College of Art. A stand-out example of Hockney’s gestural approach to etching, this print sees Hockney create his own degree diploma as a protest against the university’s assessment criteria.
An example of Hockney’s early approaches to etching, the emotive, gestural and almost cartoon-like piece was produced as a visual protest against what Hockney considered the Royal College’s outdated approach to assessment. Refusing to write the essay required for final examination, Hockney created a mock diploma in a whimsical dig at the academic establishment and its traditional values. This move, Hockney argued, reflected his own deeply held belief that art need not explain itself by way of accompanying texts, written in an inaccessible academic register. The abstracted figures in the etching are in fact visual metaphors for key members of RCA staff, including a registrar named Mr. Moon; depicted as a crescent moon with sharp, attacking teeth, this character recalls another of Hockney’s 1961 etchings, Gretchen And The Snurl (1961). Hockney’s approach in Diploma directly recalls the eminently political and seminal work, We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), the name of which references a poem by American writer Walt Whitman. Complete with graffiti-like text, the form of which directly echoes those scrawled across the surface of Diploma, made coded references to Hockney’s homosexuality at a time when it was still illegal in Britain.