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 Allen Jones and R. B. Kitaj.
After his monumental landscape exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2012, David Hockney turned away from painting and from his Yorkshire home and went back to Los Angeles. Slowly he began to return to the quiet contemplation of portraiture, beginning with a depiction of his studio manager. Over the months that followed, he became absorbed by the genre and invited sitters from all areas of his life into his studio. His subjects—all friends, family, and acquaintances—include office staff, fellow artists, curators, and gallerists. Each work is the same size, showing his sitter in the same chair, against the same vivid blue background, and all were painted in the same time frame of three days. Yet Hockney’s virtuoso paint handling allows their differing personalities to leap off the canvas with warmth and immediacy. This exhibition presents David Hockney’s recent portraits created with a renewed vigor, offering an intimate snapshot of the LA art world and the people who have crossed the artist’s path over the last years.
Exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Barry Humphries, 26th, 27th, 28th March 2015 from 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life
Acrylic on canvas (one of an 82-part work)
48 x 36 inches
© David Hockney
Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt