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David Hockney (Born 1937)
Title: Celia Musing (s.9174) – Ice Gallery 24/11/2020
Medium: Original Lithograph, 1979, on Toyoshi 80 paper, signed and dated by the artist in pencil.
Size: Sheet size: 40 x 29 in 101.6 x 73.7cm
Edition: 93/100 There were also 16 artists proofs.
Published by : Gemini GEL, Los Angeles, with their blindstamps and inkstamps verso
Printed by: Kenneth Tyler, Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Note: In 1979, British artist David Hockney partnered with printmakers Gemini G.E.L. on a series of lithographs of his good friend and muse Celia Birtwell. Birtwell was a textile designer and was the wife of Ossie Clark, an established fashion designer in London during the 1960s and 1970s. Hockney is quoted as saying, “Celia is one of the few girls I know really well. I don’t bother getting the likeness in her face because I know it so well. She has many faces and I think if you looked through all the drawings I’ve done of her, you’d see that they don’t look alike.” In comparing this work with “Celia – Weary” , this print illustrates this sentiment. The variation he captured is quite remarkable, as he conveys her expression with so few strokes. This work and others like it, are a symbol of friendship at its finest, one that has lasted over half a century, and continues to this day.
Working at home the artist used large brushes and liquid washes in varying intensities to paint on aluminium plates. There were 5 images made for printed editions reflecting Celia’s moods and attitudes: Celia Musing, Celia Weary, Celia Amused, Celia Inquiring and Celia Elegant.
The image was used as a theatrical poster advertising the world premiere of Michael Cristofer’s comedy ‘The Lady & The Clarinet’ (starring Stockard Channing and directed by Gordon Davidson) for the 1980-1981 season at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Literature: David Hockney Prints – Tokyo Museum Catalogue : This and “Celia Elegant” are missing from this catalogue/.
David Hockney, The David Hockney Foundation, https://thedavidhockneyfoundation.org/artwork/1620
Ruth E Fine: “Gemini GEL Art and Collaboration: (Published by National Gallery of Art, Washington): This work is illustrated and described on pages 156 & 157.
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Provenance: Private Collection, Ontario
National Gallery of Australia https://artsearch.nga.gov.au/detail.cfm?irn=64422