Wednesday, November 30, 2011

David Hockney

An entity called The Other Art Fair just commissioned a poll of 1,000 British artists, asking them which other British artists, living or dead, had the biggest influence on their own work. The second choice was J.M.W. Turner; the first was David Hockney. This warmed my heart because I despise many of the stars of 20th-century British art but really like David Hockney. A work like Garrowby Hill (above, 1998) strikes what I find to be a perfect poise between realism and abstraction, and it seems happy without feeling maudlin. Hockney was born in 1937 and is still very active. He has been painting for a long time and his style has changed over the years, as you can see in these pictures.

Above, an early work, Eccleshill (1957). Some of Hockney's paintings from this period have the intentionally shocking ugliness of so much 50s art, but, hey, he was young, and he grew out of it.

In the 60s Hockney did some weirdly cartoonish, slapdash-looking works like Grand Procession of Dignataries in the Semi-Egyptian Style, 1961.

He came to America in 1963 and lived in California for a few years, during which he painted swimming pools and beach scenes in acrylics, in a sort of slickly stylized realism, as in Nick Wilder, 1966.

Mt. Fuji and Flowers, 1972.

In the late 70s and 80s he did some cubist-looking works, like Large Interior, Los Angeles, 1988.

In the 90s, at the age of over 50, he began to paint in the style that does so much for me. Above, The Road to York through Sledmere, 1997. This is the work that heads off the paintings section of Hockney's web site.

Jonathan Silver, 1997.

A Bigger Grand Canyon, 1998.

The Mosque at Cordova, 2004.

Woldgate Woods, 2006.


MLB said...

Thought you might think this is interesting. His theatrical design is very much like his paintings.

MLB said...

Sorry, not sure if that link worked...

Waterman said...

I love David Hockney work and am proud to collect his pieces! His newest work is absolutely fabulous!
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