A POR­TRAIT OF THE ARTIST

iPad art, Yorkshire land­scapes and the Hol­ly­wood Hills – noth­ing is off lim­its for Bri­tain’s great­est liv­ing artist, says Sam Rogg

Where London - - Contents -

We cel­e­brate the re­bel­lious and re­mark­able Bri­tish artist, David Hockney.

David Hockney, widely re­garded as one of the most suc­cess­ful and recog­nis­able artists of our time, once said: ‘I’m in­ter­ested in all kinds of pic­tures, how­ever they are made, with cam­eras, with paint brushes, with com­put­ers, with any­thing.’ From paint­ing and draw­ing to photography and video, Hockney has mas­tered more than a few art forms in his 60-year ca­reer, while shift­ing his gaze from Los An­ge­les to Yorkshire and back again. Now, as the Bri­tish artist ap­proaches his 80th birth­day, Eng­land lures him from the Hol­ly­wood Hills once more – this time for the world’s most ex­ten­sive ret­ro­spec­tive of his work to date: DavidHock­ney at Tate Bri­tain.

Pre­sented in chrono­log­i­cal or­der, this ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion at the river­side gallery traces the full tra­jec­tory of Hockney’s ex­tra­or­di­nary oeu­vre, be­gin­ning in 1961 with the au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal Love paint­ings that he cre­ated while still a stu­dent at the Royal Col­lege of Art. ‘Hockney has pro­duced some of the most mem­o­rable and fa­mil­iar images in art of the past 60 years – and con­tin­ues to do so,’ says cu­ra­tor An­drew Wil­son. Alex Far­quhar­son, di­rec­tor at Tate Bri­tain, adds: ‘His prac­tice is both con­sis­tent and also won­der­fully di­verse. His im­pact on post-war art, and cul­ture more gen­er­ally, is in­es­timable.’

Highlights in­clude Hockney’s ex­per­i­ments with dig­i­tal draw­ing, his fa­mous Los An­ge­les swim­ming pool scenes, his cel­e­brated Yorkshire land­scapes of the 2000s and por­traits of friends, such as WH Au­den and Andy Warhol, and fam­ily. To­gether they re­veal some­thing of what makes the artist tick, as themes of par­ody, ar­ti­fice and self-re­flec­tion sur­face again and again. ‘It has been a plea­sure to re­visit works I made decades ago, in­clud­ing some of my ear­li­est paint­ings,’ Hockney says ahead of the much-an­tic­i­pated open­ing. ‘Many of them seem like old friends to me now. We’re look­ing back over a life­time with this ex­hi­bi­tion.’

“MY WORKS SEEM LIKE OLD ” FRIENDS TO ME NOW – HOCKNEY

1. Christo­pherIsh­er­woodandDonBachardy 1968

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