The Weather Series

The complete set of six lithographs
Year: 1973
Medium: Screen-print in colors on Arjomari/wove paper
Size: L. 762 x 635 mm. (and similar)
S. 1016 x 762 mm. (and similar) (6)
Edition: 98
Artist’s Proofs: 26,25,22,26,21,21
Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Literature: Scottish Arts Council (S.A.C.) 136-141; Tokyo 127-132

Each signed and dated in red, blue or green crayon and numbered

 

On his first visit to Japan in 1971, Hockney saw an exhibition called ‘Japanese Painters in the Traditional Style’ at the Municipal Gallery of Kyoto. ‘There was a beautiful painting on silk called ‘Osaka in the Rain,’ done in 1935. The nearest thing in my cogniscance was Dufy – but it really was a lot better than that.’ (Christopher Simon Sykes, Hockney: The Biography, Century, London, 2011, p. 264). The stylized depiction of weather conditions, especially rain, in Japanese art fascinated Hockney and in 1973 he began work on his own series of weather prints. In these large-scale lithographs, Hockney evokes the atmospheric effects of weather with visual ciphers and an inventive use of the medium. The wetness of rain is wonderfully expressed by watery dribbles of lithographic tusche, while brilliant sunshine pouring in through a window finds its equivalent in strips of golden yellow laid over a background of lemon yellow and blue. The lithograph Wind playfully references Hokusai’s A Sudden Gust of Wind, with Hockney depicting his own weather prints being tossed about the air and Melrose Avenue street sign replacing the distant view of Mount Fuji in Hokusai’s woodcut.

Hockney first visited Japan in 1971 after breaking up with Peter Schlesinger. This trip inspired paintings such as Mount Fuji and Flowers and his famous photo collages of the Zen Garden at the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto. Hockney was also particularly taken by the woodblock printing tradition and many of the prints in this series reference the Ukiyo-e style, and particularly the work of Japanese masters Hokusai and Hiroshige. Works such as Snow and Rain from the series feel very close to this tradition, with their evocative and yet minimal scenes of water in its various states, while elsewhere Hockney’s unique vision of LA filters through. Works such as Mist feature the city’s iconic palm trees – while at the same time referencing Monet’s painting of poplar trees along the River Epte – and Wind depicts a road sign for Melrose Avenue, placing us squarely on the west coast.

1. The Sun


 

The Sun, from: Weather Series, 1973
Lithograph and screen-print in colors on Arjomari paper
Image: 76.2 x 64.1 cm
‌Sheet: 94.2 x 77.1 cm
Edition: 98
Artist’s Proofs: 10
Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles,
Literature: Scottish Arts Council 136; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 127; Gemini 438
Signed and dated in red crayon
Numbered in pencil with the publisher’s blindstamps and ink stamp on the reverse

Recent Auction Results

Christie’s London: 28 September 2022
Estimated: GBP 40,000 – 60,000
GBP 52,920

The Sun, from: Weather Series, 1973
Lithograph and screen-print in colors on Arjomari paper
Signed and dated in red crayon, numbered 52/98
Titled in the upper margin in green crayon

 

2. Mist


Mist, from Weather Series, 1973
Lithograph in colors on Arjomari paper
Image: 28 5/8 x 25 inches (72.7 x 63.5 cm)
Sheet: 36 3/4 x 31 5/8 inches (93.4 x 80.3 cm)
Edition: 98
Artist’s Proofs: 12
Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Literature: Scottish Arts Council 138; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 129; Gemini 442

Signed and dated in blue crayon
Numbered in pencil with the publisher’s blindstamps and ink stamp on the reverse

Recent Auction Results

Christie’s New-York: 15 April 2021
Estimated: USD 8,000 – 12,000
USD 23,750

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)
Mist, from Weather Series, 1973
Lithograph in colors, on Arjomari paper
Signed and dated in blue crayon
Numbered 86/98 (there were also twelve artist’s proofs)

 

3. Snow


 

Snow, from Weather Series, 1973
Lithograph and screen-print in colors on Arjomari paper
Image: 86.5 x 72.5 cm (34 x 28 1/2 inches)
Sheet: 101.5 x 85 cm (39 7/8 x 33 1/2 inches)
Edition: 98
Artist’s Proofs: 12
Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Literature: Gemini G.E.L. (445), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (131)

Signed, dated and numbered in green pencil
Titled in blue pencil

Recent Auction Results

Phillips London: 23 January 2020
Estimated: GBP 15,000 – 20,000
GBP 50,000

DAVID HOCKNEY
Snow, from Weather Series, 1973
Lithograph and screen-print in colors, on Arjomari paper
Signed, dated and numbered 75/98 in green pencil
Titled in blue pencil
(there were also 12 artist’s proofs)

4. Lightning


 

Lightning, from The Weather Series
Lithograph in colors on Arjomari
Edition: 98, 26 AP
38 3/4 x 31 1/4 inches (98.4 x 79.4 cm)
(S.A.C. 139; M.C.A.T. 130)

 

5. Wind


 

6. Rain


 

Rain, from The Weather Series
Lithograph in colors on Arches
39 1/4 x 31 3/4 inches (99.7 x 80.7 cm)
Edition: 98, 25 AP
Signed and dated in green crayon, titled in orange crayon, numbered
(Scottish Arts Council 137; Gemini 437)