David Hockney, (born 9 July 1937 in Bradford) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. Considered one of the most important contributors to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
Hockney had his first solo exhibition in 1963 at the age of 26. Soon after, in 1964, he discovered the West Coast of the United States, where he became the painter of a sunny and hedonistic California, started his swimming pool paintings, many of which acquired an iconic status. It was there, too, that he embarked on the large double portraits that celebrate the realism and perspectival vision of the photography he also assiduously engaged in. In the United States, where he now lives, Hockney was confronted by the critical ascendancy of abstract formalism (Minimal Art, Colour Field Painting...). To the Minimalist grid, he responded by painting building facades and geometrically mowed lawns, and to “stain colour field painting” (which used dilute paint to stain the canvas itself) with a series of works on paper depicting the water of a swimming pool under different lights. By 1970 the Whitechapel Gallery in London was to perform his first major retrospective.
Looking again at Cubism, which sought to synthetically represent the vision of a viewer who moved in relation to the subject, Hockney used a Polaroid camera to produce what he called “joiners”, representations of the subject through multiple images joined together. In 1997, Hockney returned to Northern England and the countryside of his childhood. His landscapes reflect his complex reconsideration of the question of space in painting. Using high-definition cameras, he also brought movement to the Cubist space of his Polaroid “joiners”, juxtaposing video screens to compose a cycle of four seasons – a subject that since the Renaissance has evoked the inexorable passage of time. In the 1980s, Hockney began to explore the new, digital graphics tools available for the computer, producing new kinds of images. The computer was followed by the smartphone, and then the iPad, which he has used to create ever more sophisticated drawings.
From his first exhibition he has exhibited in many important museums all over the world, among them: the National Portrait Gallery of London, the Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany; At the Royal Academy of London; At the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; At the Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco; At the Dulwich Picture Gallery and in 2016 has exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London among others.
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