After his monumental landscape exhibition at the Guggenheim Bilbao in 2012, Hockney turned away from painting and his Yorkshire home and went back to Los Angeles. He gradually returned 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 such as John Baldessari and Larry Gagosian. 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