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More New Prints

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Critical Review

Some More New Prints sees Hockney continuing a borderline-abstract style he began working with in his Some Very New Paintings series of 1992. Again we are presented with fantastical landscapes that border on abstraction, with bold colours and a variety of textures that lend the works the depth and complexity we usually find in his works on canvas.

Throughout this series Hockney continues his ode to Cubism, playing with multiple perspectives in homage to Picasso and Braque while also challenging our expectations of the genre by presenting us with a Cubist landscape of Southern California rather than a cafe scene in Paris.

As well as multiple references to Cubism through his distorted and fragmented perspectives the compositions also recall the bold abstractions of Sonia Delaunay and Hockney’s contemporary Howard Hodgkin. As with Some New Prints, the works in this series recall the colourful compositions Hockney produced when he was commissioned to design sets for the opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten, of which he remarked, “These started simply and grew more and more complex. I soon realized that what I was doing was making internal landscapes, using different marks and textures to create space, so that the viewer wanders around.”

These internal landscapes are composed of waves and washes of colour, and a range of marks, from pencil lines to a scratchy ink like effect as well as chunkier brushstrokes which show Hockney manipulating his medium in his characteristically ingenious way. Here rough is combined with smooth, and flatness is given depth through gradient and texture. These unique effects are achieved by combining lithography and screen printing which allowed Hockney to experiment and push the boundaries of printmaking even further.

Going Round presents us with a more painterly style while works such as Slow Rise incorporate monochrome elements that recall his Home Made Prints series which was produced with an office photocopier. Gorge d’Incre introduces more bodily elements to the series, with its fleshy tones and enveloping forms, while Above and Beyond has an almost pastoral quality to it, with its lightly sketched lines and calmer composition and colours.