Making a splash: Hockney’s big book

Taschen, a publisher which knows how to do gorgeous-looking books about art, design and their practitioners, has just unleashed a one of the most impressive it has done – a “visual biography” of David Hockney called A Bigger Book.

su-hockney-image_01_02641The title of course puns on his breakthrough work, A Bigger Splash, but is entirely accurate: it’s a massive 50 x 70 cm and runs to 498 pages, it comes with an adjustable bookstand designed by Marc Newson, and it spans six decades of Hockney’s art.

The book’s sumptuous portfolio of 450+ examples, including all the best-known works, is supplemented by an illustrated 680-page chronology that contextualises Hockney’s work with drawings, graphic work, portrait photos, some of the artist’s own writings, and contemporary reviews.

It was personally curated by the artist, working with Benedikt Taschen and editor Hans Werner Holzwarth. And it’s limited to 10,000 copies, each signed by David Hockney (the poor guy’s signing hand must be sore by now).

Hockney and SUMO at the book's launch in Frankfurt a few weeks ago
Hockney and SUMO at the book’s launch in Frankfurt a few weeks ago

It’s not exactly cheap, at AED 9,000 (or £1,750 in falling British pounds). But it is spectacular, and in any case it is considerably cheaper than a Hockney – let alone 450 of them. It’s available in the UAE from Artspace Dubai in DIFC, a good source for art books as well as art.

The book is described by Taschen as a ‘sumo’ (or rather a SUMO). Taschen has done half a dozen of these giant-sized portfolio books, starting with Helmut Newton back in 1999.

Next year sees a major retrospective of David Hockney at Tate Britain in London (9 Feb to 29 May).

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