Vertu is excited to offer new acquisitions from David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha.
David Hockney, View of Hotel Well lll
David Hockney’s lithograph, View of Hotel Well lll, was done in 1985, a time when Hockney began to lose his hearing. Hockney says that his hearing loss contributed to giving him a greater sense of perspective and visual acuity. It was also a period in which Hockney took figures out of his work and, he says, “intended the viewer to become the figure.” Hockney has been a consummate painter and print maker for the past sixty years. At age 77, he has left his Yorkshire home and relocated to the Hollywood Hills, where he continues to work every day.
The lithograph, View of Hotel Well lll, depicts the courtyard of a hotel that Hockney visited in Acatlan, and captures the colors and feeling of a retreat in Mexico.
Roy Lichtenstein, Seascape (ll)
In 1964, Roy Lichtenstein began a series of Seascapes, in which he explored light and perspective. He also began to experiment with plexiglass, metal and Rowlux, a plastic that was designed to reflect light for better visibility of highway signs. For Lichtenstein, Rowlux was a new, experimental medium that was both Op and Pop, a commercial material that produced optical illusions.
Seascape (ll) is a wonderful glimpse into the evolution of Lichtenstein’s process, without Ben-Day Dots or speech bubbles, and still very Lichtenstein.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Landscape Series evolved from his fascination with Chinese landscape painting. When he was in the Army, he was stationed in England in 1944, and picked up a book on Chinese Painting. Lichtenstein became fascinated with Chinese landscape paintings and brush technique. The bold brushstrokes he used in his Brushstroke series in the 1960s, combined with his skill as a printmaker, led to the creation of his Landscape Series in 1985.
Road Before the Forest is a powerful representation of Lichtenstein’s masterful control in his work.
Damien Hirst, Ellipticine
Damien Hirst’s love of color is apparent in his series of ‘spot paintings.’ Based on pharmaceuticals named in the Sigma-Aldrich chemical company’s catalog, which he happened upon in 1990, Hirst mathematically formats the colored dots. He has been doing spot paintings for over twenty years, combining colors in infinite patterns.
Ellipticine is an etching, whose colors leap out and vibrate. “They grab hold of you and give you a good shaking,” Hirst says of his spot paintings.
Andy Warhol, Portrait of the Artists
In 1967, Andy Warhol was commissioned by art dealer, Leo Castelli, to create portraits of the artists that Castelli represented in his Upper East Side gallery. The work was to be part of an exhibition to celebrate the gallery’s tenth anniversary.
Warhol put silkscreen portraits of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Lee Bontecou, Larry Poons, Cy Twombly , John Chamberlain and himself onto 2” X 2” polystyrene boxes and combined them to form a single work.
The Twombly and Chamberlain portraits were removed after the opening exhibit to create a 20” X 20” format of 100 boxes. Portrait of the Artists from Ten from Leo Castelli is a wonderful reminder of the talent and art scene that Warhol was immersed in during the 1960s.
Ed Ruscha, Zoot Soot
Zoot Soot is a touching tribute from Ed Ruscha to Richard Duano, the Mexican-American artist who was co-founder of the Centro de Arte Públicoarts collective in L.A. that supported and encouraged young Latino artists. Known as the “Warhol of the West” because of his prints of celebs, Duano was a political activist who worked with young artists like Banksy and Keith Haring.
Zoot Soot is Ruscha’s word play on Zoot Suits, the wide-lapeled, pegged trousered suits favored by Mexican-American men in the 1940s. The Zoot Suit Riots, in 1943, pitted American sailors and Marines against Latino males. The Anglo servicemen resented the Zoot Suits, which they thought were frivolous to wear during wartime, although Mexican-Americans were over-represented in the military as a percentage of their population. The riots spread to cities across the country and helped to create a strong political movement among Latinos in America, which was a focus of Richard Duano’s life.
Zoot Soot is a beautifully rendered homage to one of America’s most influential artists.