Afternoon Swimming by David Hockney

Swimming Pools David Hockney

Find out more about David Hockney’s Swimming Pool series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

Among David Hockney’s most famous works of art are undoubtedly his paintings of pools, such as A Bigger Splash and Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) which broke auction records for the most expensive painting by a living artist when it sold for over £90 million in 2018.

The artist also made a number of prints depicting swimming pools however, with the medium lending itself particularly well to the watery tones, adding a layer of transparency to the works that contrasts with the flatness of some of the paintings.

Along with Hockney’s other iconic subjects – including the double portrait and perhaps the still life of flowers – swimming pools have become forever associated with this British artist who moved to LA in 1964, in search of the sharp light and shadows he had seen in Hollywood movies as a student. Comparing the move to ‘Van Gogh going to Arles’, Hockney sought to escape what he saw as the greyness of post-war England at a time when most artists were finding a new home on the east coast. In these vibrant prints we can also see the influence of modernists such as Henri Matisse who similarly sought out the bright sunshine of the South of France, particularly in intaglio prints such as My Pool And Terrace and lithographs such as Afternoon Swimming. Indeed the contrast with his earlier prints, made mostly during his time at the RCA in London, is stark. In series such as A Rake’s Progress, and works like Myself And My Heroes, Hockney chooses to use the etching technique to produce a mostly monochromatic effect.

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