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The Hypnotist MCA Tokyo

The Hypnotist MCA Tokyo
Signed Print

David Hockney

Intaglio, 1963
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 50cm x W 50cm

Critical Review

This signed print by much loved and internationally respected British artist David Hockney is an example of one of the artist’s Early Prints. It was issued in an edition of 50 in 1963. In keeping with many other of the artist’s early ‘60s œuvre, the work depicts two semi-abstracted figures and directly recalls the cartoon-like approach of etchings such as My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean or Kaisarion With All His Beauty. A study for the 1963 painting, The Hypnotist, The Hypnotist MCA Tokyo sees Hockney begin his lifelong experimentation with themes of theatricality and the literal and metaphorical notion of staging – two semi-philosophical pre-occupations which would see the artist go on to produce a vast array of stage and costume designs for, amongst others, the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in Lewes, East Sussex, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Echoing some of the artist’s later works, such as The Acrobat (1964), and the dramatic Hockney And The Stage collection, the print is marked by the presence of two rhetorical motifs: the curtain and the stage. In the case of the former, a simple profile of a figure stands below a small curtain. Cut off from the rest of the work by virtue of their confinement within a rectangular space, this figure appears to play subject to a live hypnosis enacted by the menacing figure to the right of the composition. Both perform for us, standing atop a black block of ink that evokes the stage.

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