Monday, July 9, 2018

David Hockney. Born on July 9, 1937

July 09, 1937. David Hockney, OM, CH, RA (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. In this image: David Hockney, "Walk Around the Alcazar", 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 72" (hexagonal). No. 17A20 © David Hockney. Photo: Richard Schmidt.

Known for his photo collages and paintings of Los Angeles swimming pools, David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

Popular and prolific, Hockney was born in Bradford, England and studied art there and later at the Royal College of Art, London. He was successful from the beginning, receiving a gold medal as a graduate and selling his work right from the beginning. An initial visit to the United States in 1961 led to a return visit in 1964. He eventually settled permanently in Los Angeles in 1978, drawn by the sybaritic life style and bright blue skies of Southern California. 

Much of Hockney’s subject matter is autobiographical, including portraits and self-portraits and scenes of his friends, lovers and his quarters (e.g., Portrait of an Artist, 1971). Hockney’s exploration of photography in the 1980s resulted in Pearblossom Hwy., 11–18th April 1986 and other ambitious photocollages. He published several series of graphic works in book form, including illustrations for Six Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (1970) and The Blue Guitar (1977). Hockney also achieved international prominence as a stage-set designer for the opera and ballet. His books include Hockney by Hockney (1976), Travels With Pen, Pencil, and Ink (1978), Paper Pools (1980), David Hockney Photographs (1982), China Diary (with Stephen Spender; 1982), and Hockney Paints the Stage (1983). In 1989 he received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for painting. Encyclopedia Britannica

But not all are enchanted by Hockney's increasingly large and stridently colored pieces in his more recent work. The late British art critic Brian Sewell was not impressed. 

My predominant response to David Hockney's exhibition of Yorkshire landscapes at the Royal Academy is "Why?". Why is there so much of it? Why is so much of it so big, so towering, so vast, so overblown and corpulent? Why is it so repetitive? Why is everything so unreally bright, so garish, discordant, raw and Romany? Why is the brushwork so careless, crude and coarse? For me this overwhelming accumulation of his recent work is the visual equivalent of being tied hand and foot and dumped under the loudspeakers of the Glastonbury Festival." 


Carla Ives said...

David Hockney is a new artist to me. While I don't like every single piece here, I DO love his use of bright color in many. This is what got him panned by the critic Brian Sewell. I happen to disagree as I love the bright big colorful pieces best.

nancy namaste said...

What Sewell is referring to is the later work which is more and more garish. I saw a show of Hockney's work a few years ago and he certainly believes in the statement that bigger is better and the louder the color, the better.