To our delight, the Tate Modern is showcasing almost 60 years of work by world-renowned artist David Hockney. Arguably, Hockney is one of the most popular and widely recognised artists of our time. After first coming to public attention in 1961 whilst studying at the Royal College of Art, he went on to produce some of the most well-known paintings of the 1960’s. This is without a doubt Hockney’s most extensive show to date, covering aspects of his life lived between London, Yorkshire and Los Angeles. It is also his first retrospective since 1988; ultimately, this exhibition is not one to be missed...
Hockney first found worldwide fame with his simple yet colourful canvases of sunny Californian scenes, which marked his journey towards naturalism. Swimming pools are themes that Hockney has returned to countless times. The 4th room (titled ‘Sunbather’) showcases this style of his work; his use of pleasing pastels and geometric blocks creates a scene you dream to be in.
"It has been a pleasure to revisit works I made decades ago, including some of my earliest paintings."
This extensive exhibition gathers together a wide selection of David Hockney’s not so well-known student paintings to his most famous works, celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across a staggering six decades. The exhibit is arranged chronologically with a total of 12 rooms - each showcasing a different side to Hockney that the public may not be aware of. For example, the first room presents works from different periods which exemplify the ways in which Hockney has played with the conventions of picture-making.
Whatever subject Hockney’s work deals with, it is always about making art. Some of Hockney's most recent portraiture has been created on his new tool - the iPad. He has embraced the modern medium of technology in recent years, creating videos and stills with it since 2008. Animations show how the images are composed, as if we’re gaining privileged access to the master at work. We loved his Polaroid portraits and Yorkshire landscapes captured via the iPhone; below is an early example of Hockney's collaging of composite polaroids.
Hockney, 79, has said of the exhibition: “It has been a pleasure to revisit works I made decades ago, including some of my earliest paintings. Many of them seem like old friends to me now. We’re looking back over a lifetime with the exhibition and I hope, like me, people will enjoy seeing how the roots of the new and recent work can be seen in developments over the years.”
It has been said that this is the fastest selling exhibition in Tate’s history, so be sure to grab a ticket now and immerse yourself in jaw-dropping art. Which era of Hockney's work is your favourite?
9 February – 29 May 2017
Tate Britain, Millbank
London, SW1P 4RG