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DAVID  HOCKNEY  Great Britain  1937 - "The Blue Guitar" Suite

Hockney made a series of drawings inspired by the poet Wallace Stevens and owing a great debt to Picasso. In London he painted some small canvases with the theme but dissatisfied, he decided to make a set of coloured etchings instead which would stress the artist’s freedom of imaginative response to reality and illusion. They were published both as a portfolio and as a book in spring 1977 with the lengthy title "The Blue Guitar, etchings by David Hockney who was inspired by Wallace Stevens who was inspired by Pablo Picasso". In his introductory note, Hockney wrote, “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 within pictures and different styles of representation juxtaposed and reflected and dissolved within the same frame.” The disparate images are not easy to read as interpretations of the poet’s themes, but what holds them together is the continual reference to the example of Picasso.

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