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Gregory Reading In Kyoto

Gregory Reading In Kyoto
Signed Print

David Hockney

Mixed Media, 1983
Signed Print Edition of 20
H 100cm x W 108cm

Critical Review

This signed print by British artist David Hockney is another of the artist’s works which deals explicitly with the question of the image and its relationship to the camera: works often brought together under the umbrella term ‘joiners’. Part of a limited edition of 20 signed prints, this image disrupts the dynamic and lifelike representation the camera purports to provide, but which Hockney regarded as too static. A holiday scene of sorts, it is concerned in part with the depiction of the interior of a traditional Japanese home. Hockney and long-term friend and one-time lover Gregory Evans are relaxing; as Gregory reads, Hockney explores the scene’s many different angles with his camera. Recalling one of Hockney’s most famous photo collage works, Walking In The Zen Garden At The Ryoanji Temple, created in the same year, a Japanese garden fills the left side of the composition. A map of Kyoto – positioned in Hockney’s lap towards the bottom of the composition – acts as a cartographic mirror, reflecting the rigid, geometric edges of the individual photographs, layered over one another in the gestural and expressive fashion for which Hockney is well-known. Every moment and movement is captured; whether Gregory is smoking, positioned with his hand on his head, or resting with a hand on his knee, here Hockney looks beyond the ‘frozen moment’ of the camera, opting instead for the multiple visual and temporal perspectives offered by his photo collage technique.

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