David Hockney
Past exhibition

Organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, David Hockney: A Bigger Picture is the first major exhibition held in Spain to celebrate the crucial role landscape plays in the career of this artist, considered the most important living British painter.

Bright landscapes inspired by his native county of Yorkshire form the core of this exhibition which, with Iberdrola’s sponsorship, brings together on the Museum’s second floor nearly 190 works—oil paintings, charcoals, iPad drawings, sketchbooks and digital videos—most of which have been created in the past eight years. This exhibition offers a unique vision into Hockney's creative world and demonstrates his enormous capacity to represent nature using different techniques, as well as revealing his attachment to the landscape of his youth.

Curators: Edith Devaney, Curator of Contemporary Projects at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, Marco Livingstone, Independent Curator


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Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney attended the Bradford School of Art before entering the Royal College of Art, where he remained between 1959 and 1962. His classmates included Peter Blake and R. B. Kitaj.

Did you know that...?


Stage design is an important and less-known part of Hockney’s artistic output. He created his first opera design in 1975 for Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (1951)—see image of one of the original models (ink and photography on cardboard). Afterward, theater became a great influence on his art and aesthetic approach.
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In the early 1960s, David Hockney shifted his attention from oil to the water-based medium of acrylic, which he used for a considerable period of time as this newly developed paint allowed him to capture the quality of the light and the sunny environment of Los Angeles.
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David Hockney has always been radical in his use of unconventional technology to make art, from the Polaroid camera and fax machines to the iPhone in 2009, iPad in 2010, and high-definition DVR more recently; the iPad, in a sense, substituted his need for sketchbooks.
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Hockney has had a long-term, love-hate relationship with the camera between periods of intense experimentation and attempts to completely reject its influence. By the 1970s, the use of photography allowed him to be both subject and observer. Family members and close friends became recurrent subjects, both in photography and other mediums.
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