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David Hockney’s teenage self-portrait goes on show

(David Hockney/Dulwich Picture Gallery)

(David Hockney/Dulwich Picture Gallery)

A new London exhibition includes the British artist’s first print, celebrating its 60th anniversary.

This 1954 self-portrait is one of David Hockney’s earliest: in the following six decades, the artist has shown himself variously at a table with Pablo Picasso, on sheets of paper put repeatedly through an office photocopier – and, in the ultimate selfie, drawn using the Brushes application on his iPhone.

Few other living artists have worked successfully in such a range of media: while known for his painting, Hockney has been a prolific printmaker since his student days. Taking advantage of the free materials on offer at the Royal College of Art, he tried his hand at etchings, including 16 that make up A Rake’s Progress.

They are displayed in a new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London that showcases Hockney as a printmaker. With more than 100 works, from early etchings to more recent drawings on computer and iPad, it’s a reminder of the 76-year-old’s constant experimentation.

According to curator Richard Lloyd, Hockney “is one of the most prolific, diverse and technically astute printmakers alive. There's a whole other side to Hockney, which he has devoted an enormous amount of energy and creativity to."

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