David Hockney @ Tate Britain
February 9 - May 29
This exhibition gathers together an extensive selection of David Hockney’s most famous works celebrating his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades.
As he approaches his 80th birthday, Hockney continues to change his style and ways of working, embracing new technologies as he goes. From his portraits and images of Los Angeles swimming pools, through to his drawings and photography, Yorkshire landscapes and most recent paintings – some of which have never been seen before in public – this exhibition shows how the roots of each new direction lay in the work that came before. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these unforgettable works together.
Highlights will include a double portrait of renowned novelist Christopher Isherwood and artist Don Bachardy, painted in 1968, shown in the UK for the first time in over two decades. Isherwood and Bachardy were one of Hollywood’s first openly gay couples and regularly opened up their home to entertain artists, actors and writers. This work was the first of Hockney’s celebrated double portraits, which he painted in the late 1960s and 1970s. Tate Britain will reunite many of this series, including American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) 1968; Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott 1968-9; Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970-1; Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) 1971; and My Parents 1977.
The retrospective will include vibrant new paintings of the artist’s home and garden in Los Angeles, which will be united for the first time with earlier works depicting the same subject across 35 years. Hockney first moved to this home in 1979 and soon afterwards created Hollywood Hills House 1980, a colourful work showing both the interior and the garden. 20 years later he painted Red Pots in the Garden 2000, which features the same banana-leaf palm and gently curving pool from another perspective. New paintings of the garden, created following Hockney’s recent return to California after a decade at his Yorkshire home, will also be shown for the very first time.
The exhibition will cover the full scope of Hockney’s artistic practice, from small scale, intimate works to vast, immersive canvases. Highlights will include rarely seen works exploring tender and personal themes, from his early series of Love paintings and We Two Boys Together Clinging 1961 to delicate drawings of the artist’s friends and family, including designer Celia Birtwell, poet W H Auden, artists Andy Warhol and R B Kitaj, and Hockney’s own parents. More recent works, such as his acclaimed landscape paintings of the Yorkshire countryside and his pioneering experiments with digital drawing and filmmaking, will also be showcased.