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First Detail, Snails Space, March 27th 1995

First Detail, Snails Space, March 27th 1995
Signed Print

David Hockney

Digital Print, 1995
Signed Print Edition of 45
H 90cm x W 110cm

Critical Review

Many consider Hockney’s Snails Space series as encapsulating his sprawling career and belief that art should “overcome the sterility of despair”. These prints mirror the layout of Hockney’s studio, as paintings would line the walls and be spread out on the floor, creating a world of colour and vibrancy which his guests could literally step into and explore. These prints then formed the basis of an installation entitled Snails Space With Vari Lites, Painting As Performance, which Hockney staged at several locations including the Smithsonian. In this installation, Hockney has created a set of abstracted colour and forms, which changes and evolves as the lights shining down change on a nine-minute loop. Viewers follow these shifts in colour as they would scenes of a play. First Detail operates as a still of a stage set, silent yet evocative as the forms suggest enchanted forests, streams and villages. Hockney has masterfully constructed a magical world out of pure colour and form. The title, Snails Space, is a pun, as Hockney is inviting the viewer to enter this magical realm and slow down, to a snail’s pace, to observe the innate beauty of the world.