Figure by a Curtain
(SAC 37, Tokyo 37)
By David Hockney
Lithograph in black and grey with silkscreen
in white on BFK Rives
Sheet and image: 50 x 56.5 cm
Signed, dated and numbered by the artist
Printer: Atelier Matthieu, Zurich
Publisher: Editions Alecto, London
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Originally entitled ‘Portrait of Kasmin’, this image relates to the painting ‘Play within a Play’. Hockney’s dealer is the figure in the foreground.
In 1963 the National Gallery had acquired some works by the seventeenth century artist Domenichino, which were painted as trompe-l’oeil tapestries. One, ‘Apollo killing the Cyclops’, shows a dwarf in the foreground. Taking Domenichino’s idea of a very shallow space, David Hockney decided to trap John Kasmin similarly.
By using a heavy layer of silkscreen ink on the fingers, nose and lips only, Kasmin appears squashed against the glazing.