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This pencil and crayon drawing on paper has remained in the same family since it was gifted to them by the artist in the early 1960s. It was catalogued and exhibited at international exhibitions and in New York. Accompanied by copies of correspondence between the Kasmin Gallery and the family as well as between the artist’s representative and the family, relating to the work.
The drawing was produced while Hockney was teaching at the University of Iowa in the summer of 1964. Iowa was a real culture shock for Hockney – he found it stiflingly dull. The landscape was boring and flat, with mile after mile of identical houses stretching into the distant skyline, and the only occasional excitement was to be found in the form of huge electrical storms and massive fast-moving cloud formations. As one of the few sources of stimulation during this trip, the clouds that dotted the sky above the state came to absorb much of Hockney’s creative energy. The drawing is a snapshot of a very specific moment in Hockney’s life.
On the back of the picture is a label from the Kasmin Gallery. John Kasmin was Hockney’s first dealer and is universally acknowledged as launching Hockney’s career. The fact that this drawing passed through such an iconic gallery with huge importance to Hockney’s life makes it even more desirable. It captures Hockney as he was becoming a household name and international star.