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H 76cm x W 97cm
An Exhibit Of Costumes is a signed lithograph dating from 1981 – a year which saw Hockney engage consistently with both the theatre and various types of print media. In the same year, Hockney was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera in New York to design the production for a triple bill comprising Igor Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), Le rossignol (The Nightingale), and Oedipus Rex. A poster for a retrospective of his costume and stage design held at the highly regarded, world-famous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, this signed lithograph vaunts the impact of Hockney’s first considered involvement with the stage — just 6 years earlier at Glyndebourne Opera House in Lewes, East Sussex. Having made a name for himself in the dramatic arts, Hockney lends his playful and idiosyncratic touch to the artistic direction of this satirical opera. Complete with his signature cross hatching and bold, economical lines, this work’s inclusion of a red theatre drop curtain recalls the bold and glossy trempe l’œil borders of the print series,A Hollywood Collection, and grants us a unique insight into two closed spaces: the theatre and Hockney’s creative mind. With the musical notes positioned at the lower portion of the composition conjuring up the roar of the orchestra pit, this lithograph is multi-sensory, its whimsical characters appearing to jostle freely across the page in time with the music.