Artwork Title: Play within a Play - Artist Name: David HockneyArtwork Title: Play within a Play - Artist Name: David Hockney

Play within a Play, 1963

David Hockney

Hockney’s early works are tricksy, none more so than this painting of his dealer, John Kasmin. Kasmin stands in front of a tapestry painted with abstract forms and colorful symbols. A sheet of perspex has been nailed to the front of the canvas, as if to imprison Kasmin in the painting. Hockney engages the viewer in all sorts of optical illusions: look at the chair and the space in which Kasmin stands suddenly appears more spacious than his squashed body and handprints suggest. It all contributes to the impression that Kasmin, as Hockney put it, is “trapped between life and art”. []


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