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
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