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Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Needs Improvement Love it! The beauty of anomalous charm, With those ideal lips that bring Sensual delight to the body loved, Those ideal limbs shaped for beds That common morality calls shameless. Despite his admiration for Cavafy, Hockney found his poems "slightly old-fashioned. They never describe sex. Hockney's celebration of gay sex was propagandist as well as personal, helping change the climate of opinion.

Poems Without Words - UCI IMCA

He became the artist Cavafy had imagined in a poem that describes two male lovers parting furtively after an illicit encounter:. But once he began to portray Californian swimming pools, Hockney came into his own. Behind their joyful hedonism, they are an attempt to solve an almost insuperable formal problem: as he put it, water "can be any colour, it's movable, it has no set visual description", so how do you paint it?

It is the acrylics from this period that people know best, but the Dulwich show contains some equally colourful lithographs from the "Afternoon Swimming" series. Portraits of Californian friends are here too, including Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy at opposite ends of a sofa. Another portrait, or double portrait, in the Dulwich show is of his dealer, John Kasmin, who on a visit to his studio one day asked to be shown how etchings are made.

It is fascinating to see how Hockney fluctuated between etching and lithography at different points of his career. It wasn't just personal whim but depended on his contact with different master printers and their workshops. In California, for his lithographs, it was Ken Tyler. Picasso died before the technique was perfected, but Hockney took to it at once, and paid homage with two etchings of himself as Picasso's student and model. In the poem, Stevens meditates on the relationship between art and reality:. It is obvious why this attracted Hockney. That reality is transformed by the medium in which it is represented is a cornerstone of his aesthetic, and it is why he has worked in so many media — to keep finding new ways to reveal "things as they are".

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Even when painting the Yorkshire Wolds, say, he can't help alluding to landscapes painted by artists before him. Rain on the Studio Window Topics Culture. Painting Poetry Art David Hockney features.