Recent Portraits of Gregory, Celia, and Maurice

In the spring of 2019, Hockney traveled to Amsterdam for the opening of Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature, an exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum. While there, he fell in love with Rembrandt again. Later that year, with Rembrandt and Van Gogh on his mind, and spurred by the prospect of the present exhibition, Hockney invited Celia, Gregory, and Maurice to sit for a new drawing series. In these three-quarter-length portraits, he paid particular attention to faces and hands, often his starting point. Drawn in Los Angeles and Normandy, where Hockney had recently moved, the portraits are fond evocations of time spent together and represent the many familiar faces and expressions of his old friends. Using Japanese brushes with integral reservoirs and the walnut-brown ink favored by Rembrandt, Hockney achieved an uninterrupted line and built up the portraits in three different tones.