Rome by Robert Hughes. Hardcover book published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2011, 534 pages with some colour photographs and illustrations and a few monotone illustrations.
Rome - as a city, as an empire, as an enduring idea - is in many ways the origin of everything Robert Hughes has spent his life thinking and writing about with such dazzling irreverence and exacting rigour. In this magisterial book he traces the city's history from its mythic foundation with Romulus and Remus to Fascism, Fellini and beyond.
What does David Hockney read?
Recently I partook of some viewing of David Hockneys works*. I was impressed and that was after realising on arrival that it was only recent works on display in this blockbuster exhibition here in Victoria. I was anticipating more of a retrospective sort of thing but was pleasantly enthralled by the excellent quality of works. I wont go into detail about the exhibition but will answer the question that i'm sure everyone who saw the exhibition had about this piece:
Being a bookseller I tend to notice books. I guess it's my job and maybe it's a little bit of an obsession of mine that when perusing through a wall of David Hockney images that I find the one (there was only the one) with a book in it. I did get a little bit excited (… no, not that excited) and I immediately guessed it to be Rome by Robert Hughes. It was when I got back home that I confirmed my suspicions particularly when looking at the barely decipherable letters near the bottom of the spine.
At a guess David and Robert probably knew each other. This guess is in relation to Roberts writings on art and David... yep... he's an artist, so it doesn't really come as that much of a surprise that there's a copy of one of Roberts books floating around the studio where Hockney is working. This is all guess work of course... but i did find this on the old youtubes:
...and if you're wondering why the colour in the picure is different… well i'm not 100% sure but most of these images were done using a tablet and a change of colour is an easy thing to do once you've got it on your screen. Anyway it was a great exhibtion... and I haven't read the book... but i do have one for sale.
*National Gallery of Victoria