Hockney made these 39 etchings between May and November 1969, before he settled in California and lost it, and it's a project that the artist is said to look back on as one of his major successes. After turning to etching at the beginning of the Sixties (because he had run out of painting materials), Hockney followed his Hogarthian A Rake's Progress and illustrations to the poems of CP Cavafy with an interpretation of the folk tales collected by the brothers Grimm at the beginning of the 19th century. Choosing six stories (out of 220) that fired his imagination, he strove to suggest a mood, rather than capture particular events, making visual references to the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Breughel, Bosch and Uccello. Some of the tales will be familiar, such as Rapunzel and Rumpelstilzchen, but Old Rink Rank, Fundevogel and the Little Sea Hare get their cobwebs blown away. A little beauty of a Hayward touring show, enjoying its fifth year on the road.
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