David Hockney’s diary is currently very full. The artist, who turned 80 on 9 July, is currently the subject of a large retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. The exhibition was previously presented at the Tate Britain where it met with a resounding success. Having attracted more than 500,000 visitors, it became the best attended event in the history of this British museum and confirmed Hockney’s enormous popularity in his own country.
This week it is his home town, Bradford in Yorkshire, which is paying tribute to its prodigal son. The local museum, Cartwright Hall, has opened an exhibition room in his honour called the “David Hockney Gallery”. “I used to love going to Cartwright Hall as a kid”, Hockney said in a statement. “It was the only place in Bradford I could see real paintings”.
In this permanent new gallery, the museum is displaying the British artist’s drawings, photographs and paintings. Some of the canvases were painted by Hockney in his youth and show the streets of Bradford. Other periods of the painter’s career are also represented, including his famous Californian swimming pools and his works created on an iPad. Pretty much all the stages of Hockney’s output is covered.
The museum also plays homage to his iconic style by showing photographs of the painter throughout his life. Some come from the family files and are especially rare. To add humour to the event, the museum invited guests at the opening celebration of the gallery to wear round spectacles and a blonde wig. An unconventional tribute to the image of the artist at 80.