Some third-party utilities (such as Desktop Curtain and Backdrop) will let you do that (and more). But if you want a quick and simple way to hide icons, there’s a Terminal command that’ll do it for you:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false
Enter that at the Terminal command line, press Return, and then enter
When the Finder relaunches, your icons should be gone. To get them back, change false to true in that command and repeat the process.