Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book

Year: 1980
Medium: Lithograph printed in colors on Arches Cover mould-made paper
With the accompanying book Paper Pools and its card slipcase
Sheet: 26.7 x 22.9 cm (10 1/2 x 9 inches)
Book: 27.5 x 23.5 x 1.5 cm (10 7/8 x 9 1/4 x 5/8 inches)
Edition: 1,000
Artist’s Proofs: 100
Publisher: Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New-York
Literature: Tyler Graphics (269), Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (234)

Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil
Book signed in sepia ink and stamp-numbered on the justification

Instantly recognizable, David Hockney’s swimming pools are widely identified as the artist’s most famous motif. Embodying his fascination with post-war America and in particular, with the hedonism of California, Hockney’s swimming pools also serve as a metaphorical springboard into an extended investigation that spanned decades of his career: the formal challenge of representing water.

‘It is an interesting formal problem; it is a formal problem to represent water, to describe water, because it can be anything. It can be any colour and it has no set visual description.’ 

The concern of depicting water has occupied artists throughout history. Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and Two Light Blue Washes along with Pool Made with Paper Blue Ink for Book, from Paper Pools mark two stages in Hockney’s experimentations regarding the matter. In both lithographs, the stillness of the solid, protruding diving board contrasts with the heavily marked surface of the pool below. Dynamic blue gestures evoke the constant movement of the water and are reminiscent of the bold arcs that Hockney had painted on the bottom of his own backyard pool by 1978. These fluid marks also pay homage to Henri Matisse’s earlier iteration of the same subject: The Swimming Pool (1952). While Matisse includes the occasional swimming figure, Hockney concentrates on the water itself, using shadows, gestures, and ink washes to emulate its undulating surface.

Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and Two Light Blue Washes

Swimming pools became a staple of Hockney’s oeuvre early on in his career. Flying into Los Angeles for the first time in 1963, Hockney looked out of the airplane window and was immediately captivated by the striking blues of the countless swimming pools scattered throughout the city below. Following a move to this ‘promised land’ in 1964, Hockney visually defined Los Angeles through his celebrated pool paintings, including A Bigger Splash (1967) which currently resides in Tate Britain’s permanent collection.

 

David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967, Tate Britain

 

Hockney’s pool paintings of the 1960s exemplify his initial approaches to depicting water, executed almost exclusively in acrylic paint. Yet, in 1978, Hockney embarked on an intense period of experimentation, encouraged by his close friend and master printmaker, Kenneth Tyler.

While staying with Tyler in New York, Hockney produced several editions of swimming pool lithographs in addition to his Paper Pools – unique works made of dyed paper pulp which resulted in a cross between painting, printmaking and paper making. Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book was created to accompany a publication on the Paper Pools series, emphasizing the interconnected nature of Hockney’s swimming pool images, despite the varied media he used.

Attesting to the fruitful and longstanding creative relationship between David Hockney and Ken Tyler, both Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book, from Paper Pools, and Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and Two Light Blue Washes were printed by Tyler Graphics Ltd.

 

Recent Auction Results


Phillips London: 18 January 2023
Estimated: GBP 20,000 – 30,000
GBP 81,900 / USD 101,273

Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book, from Paper Pools (T.G. 269, M.C.A.T. 234), 1980
Lithograph in colors, on Arches Cover paper
With the accompanying book Paper Pools and its card slipcase
Signed, dated and numbered 30/1000 in pencil
The book signed in sepia ink and stamp-numbered on the justification
(there were also 100 artist’s proofs)

Phillips New-York: 28 October 2022
Estimated: USD 25,000 – 35,000
USD 81,900

DAVID HOCKNEY
Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book, from Paper Pools (T. 269, M.C.A.T. 234), 1980
Lithograph in colors on Arches Cover paper
Signed, dated and numbered 203/1000 in pencil (there were also 100 artist’s proofs)
Lacking the accompanying book

Pool Made of Paper and Blue Ink for Book, 1980
Signed and dated in pencil, numbered 211⁄1000
Together with the accompanying book Paper Pools and the original card slipcase
Both stamp-numbered 41
Christie’s New-York: 21 April 2022
USD 75,600

Paper Pools (T. 269, M.C.A.T. 234), 1980
Signed, dated and numbered 454/1000 in pencil
Phillips New-York: 21 April 2022
USD 75,600

DAVID HOCKNEY
Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book
(MCA Tokyo 234), 1980
Lithograph printed in colors, with the accompanying book
Signed in pencil, dated, numbered 253/1000
The book also signed in black ink, stamp-numbered 253
Sotheby’s London: 15 March 2022
GBP 44,100