David Hockney

Having posted yesterday about, among other things, Pascal Blondeau’s photographic tribute to David Hockney and his pool paintings, I realized that although I’ve mentioned Hockney in passing several times, I haven’t properly posted about him, even during this exhibition of local interest:

From 26 October 2013 to 30 January 2014 David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition was presented at the de Young Museum, one of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, showing work since 2002 and including Photoshop portraits, multi-canvas oils, iPad landscapes and digital movies shot with multiple cameras. (Wikipedia link)

Now to right that wrong.

From the beginning of the Wikipedia entry:

David Hockney, OM CH RA (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He lives in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kensington, London. Hockney maintains two residences in California, where he lived on and off for over 30 years: one in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, and an office and archives on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.

An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

… A visit to California [in the 1960s], where he subsequently lived for many years, inspired him to make a series of paintings of swimming pools in the comparatively new acrylic medium rendered in a highly realistic style using vibrant colours.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972:

(#1)

Hockney is openly gay, and unlike Andy Warhol, whom he befriended, he openly explored the nature of gay love in his portraiture. Sometimes, as in We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961), named after a poem by Walt Whitman, the works refer to his love for men. Already in 1963, he painted two men together in the painting Domestic Scene, Los Angeles, one showering while the other washes his back.

Two Boys Together, Domestic Scene:

(#2)

(#3)

In summer 1966, while teaching at UCLA he met Peter Schlesinger, an art student who posed for paintings and drawings.

Schlesinger became for some time his boyfriend and his muse. And wrote about these times in his 2003 memoir Checkered Past: A Visual Diary Of The 60’s And 70’s. Schlesinger in a 1966 pool painting, Peter Getting Out of Nick’s Pool:

(#4)

Hockney made prints, portraits of friends, and stage designs for the Royal Court Theatre, Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

… Hockney painted portraits at different periods in his career. From 1968, and for the next few years he painted friends, lovers, and relatives just under lifesize and in pictures that depicted good likenesses of his subjects. Hockney’s own presence is often implied, since the lines of perspective converge to suggest the artist’s point of view. Hockney has repeatedly returned to the same subjects – his parents, artist Mo McDermott (Mo McDermott, 1976), various writers he has known, fashion designers Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark (Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, 1970–71), curator Henry Geldzahler, art dealer Nicholas Wilder, George Lawson and his ballet dancer lover, Wayne Sleep.

A Hockney double potrait (1969) of Geldzahler and his then-partner Christopher Scott:

(#5)

In the early 1980s, Hockney began to produce photo collages, which he called “joiners”, first using Polaroid prints and subsequently 35mm, commercially-processed color prints. Using Polaroid snaps or photolab-prints of a single subject, Hockney arranged a patchwork to make a composite image. An early photomontage was of his mother. Because the photographs are taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is work that has an affinity with Cubism, one of Hockney’s major aims — discussing the way human vision works. Some pieces are landscapes, such as Pearblossom Highway #2, others portraits, such as Kasmin 1982, and My Mother, Bolton Abbey, 1982.

Mother I, Yorkshire Moors, August 1985 No.1 (1985):

(#6)

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