This summer we are excited to welcome Hollywood to The Bowes Museum in the form of a major photomontage of an American actress by Britain’s most famous living artist.
The Hockney and Hollywood exhibition opens on 13 July and features an extraordinary life sized nude photographic study of Theresa Russell by David Hockney.
The Yorkshire born artist was commissioned by his friend the Hollywood film director Nicolas Roeg to create the montage for the movie “Insignificance”, which starred his then wife, Theresa Russell, as Marilyn Monroe.
The film is a comedy, set in a New York hotel in the 1950s, and tells the story of four icons of the era as they discuss life, death, sex and the universe.
It took Hockney four attempts with a Pentax camera to capture the images he wanted to create the stunning ‘Nude, 17th June 1984’.
The collage shows both Theresa’s front and back as Hockney explores the use of lines and edges in his photography. The actress’ pose, together with the pink satin sheets, her blond wig and licking of her lips is reminiscent of a centrefold pin up.
Nicolas Roeg, who’s best known for directing ‘Don’t Look Now’, ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ and ‘The Witches’, documented Hockney at work on the piece; photographing the artist as he prepared the scene, the assistants as they applied make up and Hockney taking the posed shots. These photographs give a unique and intimate never before seen ‘behind the scenes’ look at Hockney that make up an integral part of the exhibition, as one artist observes another.
The work is on loan to the Museum for two years from Mr Roeg’s family; his son Statten Roeg, remembers it hanging on the stairs of his father’s house. Statten said: “It was quite funny seeing people’s reactions the first time they came to visit, especially of school friends in my younger days. My mother used to visit David in Los Angeles when they both lived there.”
Adrian Jenkins, the Director of The Bowes Museum, said: “We are really thrilled to have ‘Nude, 17th June 1984’ together with the amazing behind the scenes photographs that give us a personal insight into the camaraderie between Hockney and his friends during the making of the piece.”
Hockney and Hollywood opens on Saturday 13 July and runs through until 3 November 2019.
The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham is open from 10am until 5pm, every day except 25, 26 December and 1 January.
For more information about our exhibitions and events please visit our website www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk
Notes to editors:
· The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
- The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England.
- Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
- The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.
· The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 03000 262626, www.discoverdurham.co.uk