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Sea Creatures

Peter Campbell, 23 July 1987

Sidney Nolan: Such is life 
by Brian Adams.
Hutchinson, 275 pp., £16.95, June 1987, 0 09 168430 7
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Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures 
by John Wilmerding.
Viking, 208 pp., £25, September 1987, 9780670817665
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Faces 1966-1984 
by David Hockney and Marco Livingstone.
Thames and Hudson, 96 pp., £8.95, June 1987, 0 500 27464 9
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... bucolic sentimental past that never existed’ is less than fair to the popular imagination. David Hockney’s career has been a pleasure to watch. His subject-matter – places he has visited or lived in and people he had known – has been interesting and decorative. Through representations of these agreeable subjects he has explored ways of ...

All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy, 9 April 2015

by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... living room. It’s now in the laundry room of the house that I’ve long shared with my husband, David Coster. (He’s a farm boy turned general surgeon – very handsome, with blond hair and blue eyes – whom I met just a few months after that sabbatical, and he’s also only a few months younger than I am.) And I may well – as either a joke or an only ...


Gaby Wood: How to Draw an Albatross, 18 June 2020

... image is trapped inside the prism. No one around you can see it – it’s almost a hallucination. David Hockney, who took up drawing with a modern camera lucida in 1999, described it in Secret Knowledge (2001) as projecting not ‘a real image of the subject, but an illusion of one in the eye’:At first I found the camera lucida very difficult to use ...


D.A.N. Jones, 1 November 1984

by William Kennedy.
Viking, 227 pp., £7.95, September 1984, 0 670 40176 5
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In Custody 
by Anita Desai.
Heinemann, 204 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 9780434186358
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Flaubert’s Parrot 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 190 pp., £8.50, October 1984, 0 241 11374 1
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... the Museum of Rouen to inspire him when he was writing the story called ‘Un Coeur Simple’. David Hockney produced an etching to illustrate that story, and it is reproduced on the dust-cover of Julian Barnes’s novel. The narrator is interested – in an untidy, stream-of-consciousness way – in the significance of that parrot, appearing to the ...

I am a cactus

John Sutherland: Christopher Isherwood and his boys, 3 June 2004

by Peter Parker.
Picador, 914 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 330 48699 3
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... purged. Even in the Hollywood years, some indelible poshocracy remained. On making friends with David Hockney, in LA in the 1960s, Isherwood enthusiastically exclaimed: ‘Oh David, we’ve so much in common; we love California, we love American boys, and we’re from the North of England!’ Parker adds: ‘As ...


Colin McGinn: A Philosopher in LA, 4 September 1986

... in the dark subterranean car-park. Under my third-floor balcony a swimming-pool posed for a David Hockney painting, the water the colour of Paul Newman’s eyes, though it was deemed too cold to be usable in ‘winter’. (Appropriately enough, I had met Hockney during my previous visit to LA, through my artist ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!, 11 October 2018

This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... In​ the early 1960s, David Hockney made a series of etchings inspired by the poems of Constantine Cavafy; he went to Egypt to discover the places Cavafy had drunk coffee and picked up lovers, but in the images it’s mainly Hockney’s own life and friends who figure. The etchings touch on rapture, and the frankness of their erotic pleasure at the sight and memory of boys in bed brought Cavafy to a new, wide readership ...


Julian Barnes: A Portrait of Lucian Freud, 5 December 2013

Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud 
by Martin Gayford.
Thames and Hudson, 248 pp., £12.95, March 2012, 978 0 500 28971 6
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Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist 
by Geordie Greig.
Cape, 260 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 224 09685 0
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... to pose, the enraged Freud painted over her face and inserted that of his long-time assistant David Dawson. But the baby had not caused offence, so was not painted out, with the result that a naked and strangely breasted Dawson is now seen feeding the child. Freud’s American dealer assumed the picture would be unsellable; it was bought by the first ...

Check out the parking lot

Rebecca Solnit: Hell in LA, 8 July 2004

Dante's Inferno 
by Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders.
Chronicle, 218 pp., £15.99, May 2004, 0 8118 4213 4
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... up an overpass would be perfectly apt. Birk has got at the parts of LA that recall Piranesi, not David Hockney, the sinister noir terrain of freeway overpasses and cuttings and drainage ditches that create a stacked-up, tangled vertical landscape far from the flat, sunshiny LA of the usual iconography. In some ways, the writhing full-page illustrations ...

Roth, Pinter, Berlin and Me

Christopher Tayler: Clive James, 11 March 2010

The Blaze of Obscurity: The TV Years 
by Clive James.
Picador, 325 pp., £17.99, October 2009, 978 0 330 45736 1
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... another role, as he cheerfully says, is ‘self-glorifying pantaloon’: ‘At the same table as David Hockney, Philip Roth, Harold Pinter and Sir Isaiah Berlin, it was flattering to be treated like one of the boys.’ We sometimes meet the man who’s concerned to share unflattering truths about himself – admissions, mostly, of getting ...

Flaubert’s Parrot

Julian Barnes, 18 August 1983

... you call it a tale or a text, Un Coeur Simple echoes on in the brain. Others agree. Let me cite David Hockney in his autobiography: ‘The story really affected me, and I felt it was a subject I could get into and really use.’ In 1974 Mr Hockney produced a pair of etchings: a burlesque version of Félicité’s ...

The Wrong Blond

Alan Bennett, 23 May 1985

Auden in Love 
by Dorothy Farnan.
Faber, 264 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 571 13399 1
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... up into clints, like the limestone Auden praised, the best remark about that coming, I think, from David Hockney. Auden sat to Hockney, who after tracing those innumerable lines remarked: ‘I kept thinking, if his face looks like this, what must his balls look like.’ At this rate, it can only be a matter of time ...

Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... make a telling comparison between the Chelsea and Notting Hill Gate ambience of Sixties Pop Art (Hockney in Powys Square, right where Performance was set) and the Rotherhithe setting of Damien Hirst’s Freeze show. In fact, Shone tells us, Freeze was funded in a vacated Port Authority building by the London Docklands Development Corporation, who were ...

Dreams of the Decades

Liz Jobey: Bill Brandt, 8 July 2004

Bill Brandt: A Life 
by Paul Delany.
Cape, 336 pp., £35, March 2004, 0 224 05280 2
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Bill Brandt: A Centenary Retrospective 
Victoria & Albert MuseumShow More
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... for his own psychic traumas. In this reading Delany is following Brandt’s earlier critics, David Mellor and Ian Jeffrey, who identified in Brandt’s photographs coded expressions of his disturbed psyche. They contain what Delany identifies as ‘symbols and obsessions peculiar to himself’. Ever since Brandt became the focus of academic study in the ...

That’s what Wystan says

Seamus Perry, 10 May 2018

Early Auden, Later Auden: A Critical Biography 
by Edward Mendelson.
Princeton, 912 pp., £27.95, May 2017, 978 0 691 17249 1
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... a field’. Probably the most beautiful and attentive drawing had been done five years earlier by David Hockney, in which Auden appears wrapped up in himself and a cigarette: ‘I kept thinking,’ Hockney reportedly said afterwards, ‘if his face looks like this, what must his balls look like?’ Not everyone was ...

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