We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961)
9 July 1937 |
|Field||Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Set design|
|Training||Bradford School of Art (1953–1957)
Royal College of Art (1959–1962)
|Awards||John Moores Painting Prize (1967)
Companion of Honour (1997)
Order of Merit (2012)
David Hockney, OM, CH, RA, (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He is based in Bridlington, Yorkshire, and Kensington, London. Hockney also maintains two residences in Los Angeles, one in Nicholas Canyon, as well as an office and archives on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, the city where he has lived on and off for more than 30 years.
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Hockney was born in Bradford, England, on 9 July 1937 to Laura and Kenneth Hockney and was educated first at Wellington Primary School, then Bradford Grammar School, Bradford College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, where he met R. B. Kitaj. While he was there Hockney said he felt at home, he took pride and success in his work here. While a student at the Royal College of Art, Hockney was featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries – alongside Peter Blake – that announced the arrival of British Pop art. He was associated with the movement, but his early works also display expressionist elements, not dissimilar to certain works by Francis Bacon. When the RCA said it would not let him graduate in 1962, Hockney drew the sketch The Diploma in protest. He had refused to write the essay required for the final examination, stating that he should be assessed solely on his artworks. Recognising his talent and growing reputation, the RCA changed its regulations and awarded the diploma.
A subsequent visit to California, where he lived for many years, inspired Hockney to make a series of paintings of swimming pools in Los Angeles, using the comparatively new acrylic medium and rendered in a highly realistic style using vibrant colours. The artist moved to Los Angeles in 1964, returned to London in 1968, and from 1973-75 lived in Paris. He moved permanently to Los Angeles in 1978, at first renting the canyon house he currently lives in and later buying the property and expanding it to include his studio. At one point he owned a 1,643-square-foot beach house at 21039 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, but he sold that in 1999 for around $1.5 million.
Throughout his life, Hockney made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theatre, Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He was born with synesthesia; he sees synesthetic colours to musical stimuli. In general, this does not show up in his painting or photography artwork very much. However, it is a common underlying principle in his construction of stage sets for various ballets and operas, where he bases the background colours and lighting upon his own seen colours while listening to the music of the theatre piece he is working on.
Hockney's portraits have been painted during different periods in his life. From 1968 and for the next few years he painted friends and lovers and relatives just under lifesize and in pictures that gave good likenesses of his subjects. Hockney's own presence is often implied, since the lines of perspective converge to suggest the artist's point of view. Hockney has always returned to the same subjects again and again - his parents, artist Mo McDermott (Mo McDermott, 1976), the various writers he has known, fashion designers Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark (Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, 1970–71), curator Henry Geldzahler, art dealer Nicholas Wilder, George Lawson and his ballet dancer lover, Wayne Sleep.
Hockney is openly gay, and unlike Andy Warhol, whom he befriended early on, he openly explored the nature of gay love in his portrait work. Sometimes, as in We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), named after a poem by Walt Whitman, these works make reference to his love for men. Already in 1963, he was showing two men together in his painting Domestic Scene, Los Angeles, one showering while the other washes his back. In the summer of 1966, he was teaching at UCLA when he met Peter Schlesinger, an art student whom he had pose for paintings and drawings.
In the early 1980s, Hockney began to produce photocollages, which he called "joiners," first of Polaroid prints and later of 35mm, commercially processed color prints. Using varying numbers of Polaroid snaps or photolab-prints of a single subject Hockney arranged a patchwork to make a composite image. One of his first photomontages was of his mother. Because these photographs are taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is work that has an affinity with Cubism, which was one of Hockney's major aims – discussing the way human vision works. Some of these pieces are landscapes such as Pearblossom Highway #2, others being portraits, e.g. Kasmin 1982, and My Mother, Bolton Abbey, 1982.
On his arrival in California, Hockney changed from oil to acrylic paints, applying them as a smooth surface of flat and brilliant colour. The print workshop Gemini G.E.L. approached him in 1965 with the idea of creating a series of lithographs with a Los Angeles theme. Hockney's response was to create a ready-made art collection. He created his photomontage works mostly between 1970 and 1986. He referred to them as "joiners". He began this style of art by taking Polaroid photographs of one subject and arranging them into a grid layout. The subject would actually move while being photographed so that the piece would show the movements of the subject seen from the photographer's perspective. In later works Hockney changed his technique and moved the camera around the subject instead.
Hockney's creation of the "joiners" occurred accidentally. He noticed in the late sixties that photographers were using cameras with wide-angle lenses to take pictures. He did not like such photographs because they always came out somewhat distorted. He was working on a painting of a living room and terrace in Los Angeles. He took Polaroid shots of the living room and glued them together, not intending for them to be a composition on their own. Upon looking at the final composition, he realized it created a narrative, as if the viewer was moving through the room. He began to work more and more with photography after this discovery and even stopped painting for a period of time to exclusively pursue this new style of photography. Frustrated with the limitations of photography and its 'one eyed' approach, he later returned to painting.
In 1976, at Atelier Crommelynck, David Hockney created a portfolio of twenty etchings called The Blue Guitar: Etchings By David Hockney Who Was Inspired By Wallace Stevens Who Was Inspired By Pablo Picasso. The etchings refer to themes of a poem by Stevens, "The Man With The Blue Guitar". The portfolio was published by Petersburg Press in October 1977. That year, Petersburg also published a book, in which the images were accompanied by the poem's text.
Hockney was commissioned to design the cover and a series of pages for the December 1985 issue of the French edition of Vogue. Consistent with his interest in cubism and admiration for Pablo Picasso, Hockney chose to paint Celia Birtwell (who appears in several of his works) from different views, as if the eye had scanned her face diagonally.
In December 1985, Hockney was commissioned to draw with the Quantel Paintbox, a computer program that allowed the artist to sketch directly onto the screen. Using this program was similar to drawing on the PET film for prints, with which he'd had much experience. The resulting work was featured in a BBC series profiling a number of artists.
Hockney began returning more often to Yorkshire in the 1990s, usually to visit his mother every three months, who died in 1999. He rarely stayed in England for more than two weeks until 1997, when his friend Jonathan Silver who was terminally ill encouraged him to capture the local surroundings, which he did at first with paintings based on memories of the area, some from his boyhood. Hockney would return to Yorkshire for longer and longer stays, and by 2005 he was painting the countryside en plein air. He set up residence and an immense redbrick seaside studio, a converted industrial workspace, in the seaside town of Bridlington, about 75 miles from where he was born in the city of Bradford. The oil paintings that Hockney produced after 2005 were influenced by his intensive studies in watercolor (for over a year in 2003-2004). He began to create paintings made of multiple smaller canvases—nine, 15 or more—placed together. To help him visualize work at that scale, he used digital photographic reproductions of the work; each day's work was photographed, and Hockney generally took a photographic print home with him.
In June 2007, Hockney's largest painting, Bigger Trees Near Warter, which measures 15x40', was hung in the Royal Academy's largest gallery in their annual Summer Exhibition. This work "is a monumental-scale view of a coppice in Hockney's native Yorkshire, between Bridlington and York. It was painted on 50 individual canvases, mostly working in situ, over five weeks last winter." In 2008, he donated this work to the Tate Gallery in London, saying: "I thought if I'm going to give something to the Tate I want to give them something really good. It's going to be here for a while. I don't want to give things I'm not too proud of...I thought this was a good painting because it's of England...it seems like a good thing to do".
Since 2009, Hockney has painted hundreds of portraits, still lifes and landscapes using the Brushes iPhone and iPad application, often sending them to his friends. His show Fleurs fraîches (Fresh Flowers) was held at La Fondation Pierre Bergé in Paris. A Fresh-Flowers exhibit opened in 2011 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, featuring over 100 of Hockney's drawings on 25 iPads and 20 iPods. In late 2011, Hockney revisited California to paint Yosemite National Park on his iPad.
Hockney's first opera designs, for Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in England in 1975 and The Magic Flute (1978) there, were essentially painted drops. In 1981, he agreed to design both sets and costumes for three 20th-century French works at the Metropolitan Opera House under the title Parade. The works in question are Parade, a ballet with music by Erik Satie; Les mamelles de Tirésias, an opera with libretto by Guillaume Apollinaire and music by Francis Poulenc, and L'enfant et les sortilèges, an opera with libretto by Colette and music by Maurice Ravel. He later designed sets for Puccini's Turandot in 1991 at the Chicago Lyric Opera that travelled to San Francisco, and a Richard Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten in 1992 at the Royal Opera House, London. In 1994, he designed costumes and scenery for twelve opera arias for the TV broadcast of Placido Domingo’s Operalia in Mexico City. Technical advances have allowed him to become increasingly complex in his model-making. At his studio he had a 6-by-4-foot proscenium opening in which he built sets on a scale of one and a half inches to the foot. He also used a computerized setup that let him punch in and program lighting cues at will and synchronize them to a soundtrack of the music.
Hockney had his first one-man show in 1963 at the age of 26, and by 1970 the first of several major retrospectives was organized at Whitechapel Gallery, London, which subsequently traveled to three additional European institutions. In 2004, the artist was included in the cross-generational Whitney Biennial, where his portraits appeared in a gallery with those of a younger artist he had inspired, the painter Elizabeth Peyton.
In October 2006 the National Portrait Gallery in London organized one of the largest ever displays of Hockney's portraiture work, including 150 of his paintings, drawings, prints, sketchbooks and photocollages from over five decades. The collection ranged from his earliest self-portraits to work completed in 2005. Hockney himself assisted in displaying the works, and the exhibition, which ran until January 2007, proved to be one of the most successful in the gallery's history. In 2009, some 100,000 visitors were reported at the Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, to see "David Hockney: Just Nature."
From 21 January 2012 to 9 April 2012, the Royal Academy showed an exhibition of Hockney's work called 'A Bigger Picture'. The exhibition includes over 150 works by the artist, many of which take entire walls in the gallery's brightly lit rooms. A Bigger Picture is dedicated to landscapes, especially trees, including tree tunnels. Works include oil paintings and watercolors inspired by Hockney's native Yorkshire. Around 50 drawings were created on an iPad and then printed on paper for the exhibition. Hockney stated in a 2012 interview "It’s about big things. You can make paintings bigger. We’re also making photographs bigger, videos bigger, all to do with drawing." This exhibition A Bigger Picture is still to be seen in Ludwig Museum in Koeln, Germany, from 27 October 2012 till 3 February 2013.
Many of Hockney's works are now housed in Salts Mill, in Saltaire, near his home town of Bradford. Writer Christopher Isherwood's collection is today considered the most important private collection of Hockney's works; in the 1990s, Isherwood's long-time partner Don Bachardy donated the collection to a foundation. His work can also be found in numerous important public collections worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Art Institute of Chicago; National Portrait Gallery, London; Tate Gallery, London; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; MUMOK, Vienna; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
In 1967, Hockney's painting, Peter Getting Out Of Nick's Pool, won the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Hockney was offered a knighthood in 1990 but he declined the offer before accepting an Order of Merit in January 2012. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Progress medal in 1988 and the Special 150th Anniversary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2003. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1997 and is also a Royal Academician. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him to the Order of Merit, an honor restricted to 24 Britons at any one time for their contributions to the arts and sciences.
He was a Distinguished Honoree of the National Arts Association, Los Angeles, in 1991 and received the First Annual Award of Achievement from the Archives of American Art, Los Angeles, in 1993. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust, New York in 1992 and was given a Foreign Honorary Membership to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1997. In 2003, Hockney was awarded the Lorenzo de Medici Lifetime Career Award of the Florence Biennale, Italy.
Commissioned by The Other Art Fair, a November 2011 poll of 1,000 British painters and sculptors declared him Britain’s most influential artist of all time.
From 1963, Hockney was represented by the art dealer John Kasmin. He is also represented by Annely Juda Fine Art, London. On 21 June 2006, Hockney's painting of The Splash fetched £2.6 million. His A Bigger Grand Canyon, a series of 60 paintings that combined to produce one enormous picture, was bought by the National Gallery of Australia for $4.6 million. Beverly Hills Housewife (1966–67), a 12-foot-long acrylic that depicts the collector Betty Freeman standing by her pool in a long hot-pink dress, went for $7.9 million at Christie's New York in 2008, the top lot of the sale and a record price for Hockney.
The Hockney-Falco thesis
In the 2001 television programme and book, Secret Knowledge, Hockney posited that the Old Masters used camera obscura techniques, utilized with a concave mirror, which allowed the image of the subject to be projected onto the surface of the painting. Hockney argues that this technique migrated gradually to Italy and most of Europe, and is the reason for the photographic style of painting we see in the Renaissance and later periods of art. He published his conclusions in the 2001 book “Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters,” which was revised in 2006.
Hockney was a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 1979. He serves on the advisory board of the political magazine Standpoint, and contributed original sketches for its launch edition, in June 2008.
In popular culture
In 1974, Hockney was the subject of Jack Hazan's film, A Bigger Splash (named after one of Hockney's swimming pool paintings from 1967). He was the inspiration of artist Billy Pappas in the documentary film Waiting for Hockney, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008.
A biography of Hockney David Hockney: A Rake's Progress by writer/photographer Christopher Simon Sykes covering the years 1937–1975 appeared in 2012. On 14 August 2012, he was the subject of the BBC Radio Four programme presented by James Naughtie called "The New Elizabethans".
Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, a close friend, named a checked jacket after Hockney. Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey centered his entire spring/summer 2005 menswear collection around the artist. In 2011, British GQ named Hockney one of the 50 Most Stylish Men in Britain.
David Hockney Foundation
In 2012, Hockney, then worth an estimated $55.2 million, transferred paintings valued at $124.2 million to the David Hockney Foundation, and kicked in an additional $1.2 million in cash to help fund the foundation’s operations. The artist plans to give away the paintings through the foundation, among others to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Tate in London.
- David Hockney, David Hockney (1976)
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- David Hockney, Mulholland Drive (1980) LACMA.
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- Bernard Weinraub (15 August 2001), Enticed by Bright Light; From David Hockney, a Show of Photocollages in Los Angeles New York Times.
- Edmund White (8 September 2006), Sunlight, beaches and boys The Guardian.
- Nicholas Wilder, 51, Artist and Art Dealer New York Times, 16 May 1989.
- Your chance to own an 'exceptional' Hockney
- Deborah Solomon (17 August 2012 ), California Dreams New York Times.
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- Image of Pearblossom Highway
- Image of Kasmin 1982
- Image of photocollage My Mother, Bolton Abbey, 1982
- David Hockney, A Hollywood Collection (S.A.C. 41-46; Tokyo 41-46) (1965) Christie's, Hockney on Paper, 17 February 2012, London.
- Hockney on Photography: Conversations with Paul Joyce (1988) ISBN 0-224-02484-1
- Hockney on Art – Paul Joyce ISBN 1-4087-0157-X
- Hockney, Davis (1976-1977). "The Old Guitarist' From The Blue Guitar". British Council; Visual Arts. Petersburg Press. http://collection.britishcouncil.org/whats_on/exhibition/11/15872/object/42133. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Hockney, David; Stevens, Wallace (January 11977). The Blue Guitar: Etchings By David Hockney Who Was Inspired By Wallace Stevens Who Was Inspired By Pablo Picasso. Petersburg Ltd. ISBN 978-0902825031. http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Guitar-Etchings-Hockney-Inspired/dp/0902825038. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
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- Henry Chu (12 February 2012), David Hockney brings color back home Los Angeles Times.
- David Hockney: Paintings 2006–2009, 29 October – 24 December 2009 Pace Gallery, New York.
- Bigger Trees near Warter as seen in the Royal Academy, June 2007
- Charlotte Higgins, Hockney's big gift to the Tate: a 40ft landscape of Yorkshire's winter trees, The Guardian, 8 April 2008 
- Simon Crerar "David Hockney donates Bigger Trees Near Warter to Tate", The Times, 7 April 2008.
- Lawrence Weschler, "David Hockney's iPhone Passion, The New York Review of Books, 22 October 2009
- Gayford, Martin. "David Hockney’s IPad Doodles Resemble High-Tech Stained Glass" Bloomberg, 26 April 2010.
- Katz, Brigit (21 November 2011). "Freshly pressed". The Varsity. http://thevarsity.ca/articles/49917. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Jackie Wullschlager (13 January 2012), Blue-sky painting Financial Times.
- John Rockwell (10 January 1991), David Hockney Is Back in Opera, With a Few Ifs, Ands and Buts New York Times.
- John Russell (20 February 1981), David Hockney's Designes For Met Opera's 'Parade' New York Times.
- David Hockney Pace Gallery, New York.
- Meredith Etherington-Smith (15 August 2006). "A David Hockney Moment". ARTINFO. http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/19262/a-david-hockney-moment/. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
- Royal Academy
- Nairn, Olivia (29 February 2012). "David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture". Creatures of Culture. http://www.creaturesofculture.com/2012/02/david-hockney-ra-bigger-picture.html. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Stuff-Review, "Why we love tech: David Hockney’s ‘A Bigger Picture’ is contemporary art done on an iPad"
- Brooklyn Rail, interview between David Hockney and Will Corwin
- "David Hockney appointed to Order of Merit". BBC Magazine (BBC News). 1 January 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16376999. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Appointments to the Order of Merit, 1 January 2012 – the official website of The British Monarchy
- "Progress Medal - The Royal Photographic Society". Rps.org. http://www.rps.org/annual-awards/Progress-Medal. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award/ Retrieved 13 August 2012
- "Centenary Medal - The Royal Photographic Society". Rps.org. http://www.rps.org/annual-awards/Centenary-Medal. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "David Hockney RA - Painters - Royal Academicians - Royal Academy of Arts". royalacademy.org.uk. http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/academicians/painters/david-hockney-ra,179,AR.html. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- David Hockney: Paintings 2006–2009, 2 October – 24 December 2009 Pace Gallery, New York.
- Dalya Alberge (23 November 2011), Hockney named Britain's most influential artist The Independent.
- Hockney painting sells for £2.6m
- "Search". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 24 October 2011. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/an-unrepentant-david-hockney/article2210686/.
- Standpoint staff (2009). "Standpoint Advisory Board". Social Affairs Unit Magazines. http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/about-us.
- Standpoint staff (2008). "David Hockney – Exclusive sketches for his new Tate masterpiece". Social Affairs Unit Magazines Ltd. http://standpointmag.co.uk/magazine/26.
- BBC press office (2009). "Radio 4's Today announces this year's guest editors". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2009/12_december/10/today.shtml.
- Peter Walker, "Turner prize winners lead protest against arts cutbacks," The Guardian, 1 October 2010.
- IMDB, "Waiting for Hockney (2008)"
- Simon, Christopher (17 April 2012). "David Hockney: A Rake's Progress | New York Journal of Books". Nyjournalofbooks.com. http://nyjournalofbooks.com/review/david-hockney-rakes-progress. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- Ellie Pithers (25 January 2012), David Hockney: back on the fashion map Daily Telegraph.
- Ann Binlot (26 January 2012),  ARTINFO.
- Mike Boehm (1 May 2012), David Hockney art gifts win him top rank in British philanthropy Los Angeles Times.
- Brooklyn Rail: In Conversation David Hockney and William Corwin.
- Hockneypictures.com Official website
- David Hockney in the National Gallery of Australia's Kenneth Tyler collection
- Biography page at LA Louver gallery Example of work from the 60s to the present
- DavidHockney.com tribute site
- Salts Mill in Saltaire, Yorkshire, England, contains a permanent exhibition of Hockney's work.
- David Hockney visits own exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary [BBC Nottingham]
- David Hockney on 'A Bigger Splash' [BBC Nottingham]
- Interview with David Hockney Nov 2009 [BBC Nottingham]
- Peter Getting Out Of Nick's Pool (1966) at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK
- New Yorker discussion of Hockney's suggestion that the Old Masters used optical devices to aid drawing
- Hockney leads smoking ban protest BBC article.
- Jonathan Jones, Cooler than Warhol, more enduring than Freud (Interview), The Guardian, 8 September 2006
- A A Gill, The Turner Surprise: David Hockney on Turner, The Times, 17 June 2007
- David Hockney, The Fallen Beech Trees and the Lost Canvas, The Guardian, 27 March 2009
- David Hockney's Long Road From Los Angeles to Yorkshire, The New York Times, 15 October 2009
- David Hockney: Portrait of the Old Master, Tim Adams, The Guardian and Observer, 1 November 2009
- Annely Juda Fine Art, contemporary London art gallery that represents David Hockney
- "David Hockney: A man aflame – and long before the smoking ban" Michael Church, The Independent, 8 August 2010
- Hockney and Hirst feud over assistants
- Hockney Yorkshire Wolds Art Locations