Who is the Muse in David Hockney’s Paintings?

Peter Schlesinger was the longtime lover and muse of the British artist. Here, we look at his work as a sculptor

David Hockney's Portrait of an Artist (Figure With Two Pools), 1972.
Photo: Jenny Carter, courtesy of Art Gallery of New South Wales
Peter Schlesinger Photo: ©Eric Boman

You may not know the name Peter Schlesinger but you have seen him—after all, he was the muse of British painter David Hockney and appears in some of Hockney’s most famous paintings. More importantly, Schlesinger is now a respected and successful sculptor. His elegant earthenware pieces come in both traditional ceramic forms and original designs. Some are glazed, some are not. They all possess a sophisticated and organic quality, possibly from the temporal colors he often uses—shades of green, blue, yellow, brown, and even white.

In 2015 Schlesinger began collaborating with Acne Studios’ creative director Jonny Johansson—first on a collection of silk pajamas printed with Schlesinger’s original patterns and ultimately on a book. The limited edition book is essentially a portfolio of over 150 of Schlesinger’s pieces, all photographed by his longtime partner and famed fashion photographer Eric Boman. Schlesinger’s work can be found in public and private collections all over the world.

Peter Schlesinger’s 1993 vessel titled Wisteria is a more expressive version of a classic ceramic form. Photo: Antoine Bootz

BORN AND LIVES

Born: 1948, Los Angeles, California

Lives: New York, New York and Bellport, New York

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

2016, Looking Back, Curated by Matthew Higgs, White Columns, New York, New York

2013, About a Tree, Flag Art Foundation,
New York, New York

2012, Peter Schlesinger, Duke and Duke Gallery, Los Angeles, California

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Peter Schlesinger Sculpture,
by Peter Schlesinger and Eric Boman—Acne Studios, 2015