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Signed Print Edition of 75
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Celine Fraser, Acquisition Coordinator
Beautiful And White Flowers (1966) is a signed etching by David Hockney that belongs to Illustrations For Fourteen Poems By C. P. Cavafy - a series of prints illustrating or loosely evoking the scenes and motifs from the Alexandria-born Greek poet’s works.
Opening with a young man’s declaration that he wants to abandon his long-term lover, Cavafy’s poem deals with the crisis of a romantic relationship between two men. What propels the motif of abandonment is the male figure’s desire to break away from the life in austerity by starting a relationship with a much more affluent man than him and his current lover. Although it finishes on a dramatic note, culminating in the image of the young man’s death and the abandoned lover’s longing, Hockney strives to extricate a positive dimension from Cavafy’s poem. Beautiful And White Flowers presents the viewer with a static, surprisingly lighthearted scene, in which one man is seen lying down on a sofa while the other stands behind with his hand tenderly touching the cushion. Through such a representation, the artist seems to move beyond the moment in time described in the poem and imagines the relation in its early, innocent phase.