David Hockney is often cited as one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century – and is still producing new works that have collectors filled with excitement, making him also one of the most influential British artists of the 21st century.  

In November 2018, Hockney's 1972 work Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at Christie's auction house in New York for $90 million (£70 million), becoming the most expensive artwork by a living artist sold at auction.  This particular piece was a classic example of the swimming pool paintings that he began following his first visit to California in 1964, and which became a recurring theme in his later bodies of work. 

This month, a very special exhibition takes place at The Lost & Found, in Knutsford, where more than 30 limited edition lithographic posters and prints are being presented for sale, by Collect Art, a art gallery in Lymm. 

Great British Life: A signed poster by David Hockney, of one of his famous swimming pool piecesA signed poster by David Hockney, of one of his famous swimming pool pieces (Image: c. David Hockney)

Owner of Collect Art, Martin Heaps, says: “David Hockney is consistently popular with collectors – his original works sell for huge sums and rarely come on the market, and his limited edition posters and prints (both signed and unsigned) always have a ready market. 

“His appeal is universal – his use of colour, his bold, clear shapes. His art is recognisably of everyday themes – from sunlit swimming pools to pets (his dachshund series is extremely well loved) to gardens and buildings and people doing everyday things. He said himself: ‘To me painting is picture making. I am not that interested in painting that doesn’t depict the visible world. I mean, it might be perfectly good art it just doesn’t interest me that much.’” 

This new Collect Art exhibition brings together multiple opportunities to see and to buy Hockney’s work, in diverse forms – Signed lithograph posters and prints from Hockney’s most recently published book, 220 for 2020 Edition of 2020, plus a unique souvenir from a birthday party held for Hockney at Salts Mills Saltaire, the arts centre in Yorkshire where many of Hockney’s exhibitions were and still are held. 

Great British Life: A signed poster, with Hockney's much-loved sausage dogsA signed poster, with Hockney's much-loved sausage dogs (Image: c. David Hockney)

“I was recently thrilled to be able to acquire a small collection of lithographic posters from the framer who mounted all of Hockney’s works for Salts Mills Saltaire, and who cleverly acquired a collection for himself over the passing years.  

“These posters are immensely popular with collectors. Many are signed, and all have impeccable provenance. They are all beautifully framed, of course, in perfect condition and will make a wonderful addition to any home. We also have one hand made print signed, from an edition of only 60, which is a very rare thing and has already garnered attention from around the UK. 

“In addition, we have a collection of prints taken from Hockney’s book, 220 for 2020. During the first lockdown, Hockney was at his home in Normandy, in France, and started a series of drawings on his iPad, which he later said became a lifeline during the COVID lockdown. These iPad drawings, of the changes of the seasons seen from his French farmhouse, have been beautifully printed in a limited-edition book, with only 1,620 printed in total. These prints will never be reproduced again, making each one a true collector’s item – and immensely accessible in a way that the posters and prints aren’t, for many. 

Great British Life: A quirky memento from an event with David HockneyA quirky memento from an event with David Hockney (Image: c. Collect Art)

“There is also a quirky piece created by the lady who was curator at Salt Mill Saltaire for many years and has some excellent anecdotes about her various meetings with Hockney. This particular piece was created with an invitation to his birthday party, which took place just after the ban on smoking in 2007. David placed a single cigarette on the placemat of every guest, and she saved hers, along with her invitation, in itself a fun piece.’ 

As well as Hockney’s work, Martin will be bringing pieces by other contemporary Nothern artists to this one-off exhibition, with works by well-known names such as Geoffrey Key, Theodore Major, Harold Riley and Liam Spencer on show. 

“We have undertaken a number of gallery shows outside of the Collect Art gallery in Lymm,” Martin says, “and they are always really popular as we bring art to places it’s not so often seen, which seems to help people appreciate it for itself, for its beauty and how it would work in the home, not as something they might rather expect on a museum wall. Art is to be enjoyed, this is why all artists paint, and taking collections such as this outside of the gallery walls is really powerful. 

“The Lost & Found is a really beautiful Arts & Crafts building, too, so it seems right it should be used for events such as this. People can come along, admire Hockney’s work, browse, maybe even buy, and then enjoy a meal or a drink in a very beautiful venue. 

“I can’t wait.” 

Collect Art’s David Hockney Exhibition at The Lost & Found in Knutsford, Saturday March 23, from 10.30am.