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Textual cues, visual fictions: representations of homosexualities in the works of David Hockney

Porter-Salmon, Emily (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with representations of homosexual themes and subjects in the works of David Hockney (b. 1937). A male, homosexual British artist, Hockney came of age during a period in which homosexual acts between males remained criminalised in both Britain and the United States. Openly homosexual since the early 1960s, Hockney began to produce images concerned with homosexual themes during his Royal College of Art student years. This thesis explores Hockney’s discovery of texts, languages, images and publications relating to homosexuality from the 1960s onwards, and his personal and creative responses to these sources. The concept of a homosexual creative ‘canon’ existed amongst homosexual men of this period, albeit in an unofficial capacity; this wider context of historical creative and cultural precedent within homosexual subcultures has not previously been the subject of sustained critical engagement in relation to Hockney.

In addition to the artist’s works dealing with homosexual themes produced prior to the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain in 1967, this thesis looks beyond that period, and also considers Hockney’s personal self-fashioning and media engagements. Far from an anomalous maverick, Hockney and his works are shown to fit within a continuum of homosexual creative and cultural endeavour.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):West, Shearer
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of History of Art
Subjects:ND Painting
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1023
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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