David Hockney - Tick it, Tool it, turn it true


Original etching in 4 colours, blue, red, green & black, 1976/7, made from 2 copper plates, on Inveresk mould made paper, signed by the artist in pencil.

Size: plate: 14 × 16 3/4" (35.6 × 42.5 cm); sheet: 17 15/16 × 20 5/8" (45.5 × 52.4 cm)

Edition: 200

Published by: Petersburg Press, 1977

Note:  This work is plate number 15 from the Blue Guitar Portfolio which consisted of 20 etchings. The frontispiece to the portfolio clearly enunciates Hockney’s dual inspirations for his ‘Blue Guitar’ suite: ‘Etchings by David Hockney who was inspired by Wallace Stevens who was inspired by Pablo Picasso’. Hockney discovered Wallace Stevens’s 1936 poem ‘The Man with the Blue Guitar’ in the Summer of 1976 while holidaying in Fire Island, NY, with the curator Henry Geldzahler and writer Christopher Isherwood. Hockney described how the ‘etchings themselves were not conceived as literal illustrations of the poem but as an interpretation of its themes in visual terms. Like the poem, they are about transformations within art as well as the relation between reality and the imagination, so these are pictures and different styles of representation juxtaposed and reflected and dissolved within the same frame’. Stevens’s poem was inspired by Picasso’s 1903 painting ‘The Old Guitarist’ and Hockney, also a great admirer of Picasso, filled his etchings with a multitude of references to the master both in terms of imagery and style.

Proofed by: Maurice Payne and printed from steel faced plates by Jennifer Melby in New York.

Reference: Tokyo Catalogue Raisonee 192

Scottish Arts Council: SCAC 213

Public Collections: MoMA, New York -https://www.moma.org/collection/works/200731