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Wuxi 45-7

Wuxi 45-7
Signed Print

David Hockney

Photographic print, 1981
Signed Print
H 13cm x W 18cm

Critical Review

Wuxi 45-7 is a signed photographic print by British artist David Hockney. It depicts a moment Hockney captured with his camera when travelling in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi, around 84 miles from Shanghai. In the image we can see a man look into Hockney’s camera. The man appears to be washing clothes in a well, and the photograph documents the use of wooden materials as an improvised drying line. In the background of the image, Chinese-language characters painted in red adorn the apartment block. During Hockney’s time in China, he quickly realised he would not have the time to make the kind of artworks he normally would at his studio. Out of a desire to document the tour, Hockney turned to watercolour painting – a medium able to accommodate the time constraints posed by a tightly-packed schedule. Hockney also used his travels in China to mark a considered return to the camera  – an artistic medium he has used extensively as both a visual guide for his paintings and as a means to challenge static and unifocal modes of representation, as in his Photo Collages collection. Commenting on the trip, Hockney once remarked, ‘There was hardly a time when you had half an hour to sit around; so I realised I had to devise a method of drawing quickly or from memory.’

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