This painting was made in commemoration of a trip made by Blake and Howard Hodgkin to David Hockney in Venice, California in 1979. It is based on Gustave Courbet's ‘The Meeting’ or ‘Bonjour Monsieur Courbet’, in which the artist greets two friends on a country road; the figures are ironically re-created as rather dowdy Englishmen among the young, health-conscious Californians.
'The Meeting' or 'Have a Nice Day, Mr Hockney', 1981-3
One of the leading figures in British pop art, Peter Blake is known for his urban realist subjects. Born in Dartford in 1932, he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art in 1956. Remaining in the city for more than a decade, Blake was at the cultural centre of vibrant 1960s London. His work fuses high art and popular culture, referencing historical artworks, weekly magazines, children’s stories, movie stars and musicians. His output is famously broad ranging and includes painting, graphic design, collage, book illustration, sculpture and printing. He was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain in 1983.