This signed intaglio by British artist David Hockney is part of the artist’s Portraits collection. Issued in 1967 in an edition of 10, this etching features two portraits of John Kasmin placed side by side on one sheet of paper.
John Kasmin is a British art dealer and collector, also known as “Kas”. Along with Robert Fraser, Kasmin promoted British and American Pop Art in the 1960s, which is how he became acquainted with much loved British artist David Hockney. Upon establishing his own gallery in 1963, Hockney was one of Kasmin’s first represented artists, having met in 1960. When Kasmin first met Hockney, he describes the artist as being a shy, dark-haired student. This impression would contrast the more flamboyant figure we would all come to know and love. In this etching the figure on the left is dressed more formally in a shirt, tie, over coat and hat, whilst the figure on the right is more casual in just a vest. This sets up a contrast, perhaps reflecting the subject in how he presents himself externally to the world, and how he appears in the company of those close to him. Kasmin holds a significant place in Hockney’s career as he granted the artist his first solo show, Pictures With People In, at his gallery in London in 1963.