Nude, 17th June

Nude, 17th June
Signed Print

David Hockney

Photographic print, 1984
Signed Print Edition of 20
H 43cm x W 36cm

Critical Review

This 1984 print by British artist David Hockney is an example of one of the artist’s later ‘joiner’ artworks and was released as an edition of 20. Portraying American actor Theresa Russell laying nude on a bed, this photo collage makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to the pin-up nude photographs of the 1950s, particularly those depicting world-famous actor and icon, Marilyn Monroe. In this print Hockney marks a return to his sustained interest in the erotic, explored at length in the Erotic Prints series and sparked by his move to sexually-liberated California twenty years earlier. Arranging many different photographs of the Russell’s naked body, each taken at a slightly different angle, into a multi-perspectival composition, this composite image complicates the various modes of representation made possible by photography, a subject that had informed a public lecture given by Hockney at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, in 1983. The almost baroque composition of the print accords great significance to drapery; the visual depiction of the folds in cloth, drapery is a representational motif that has punctuated art history for many hundreds of years, even since the portrayal, by Christian iconographers, of Christ, the Virgin and the Apostles as figures clad in classically inspired, toga-like robes. Commenting on this piece, Hockney once said: ‘Only erotic photographs inspire you immediately to look for more than 30 seconds, and my pin-up requires you to look very slowly.’

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