ART // David Hockney at The Tate Modern, London

Nicky recently took herself along to the David Hockney retrospective at the Tate Modern London, so we thought what an opportunity to share some artworks from this most acclaimed artist. The retrospective at the Tate traces the artists career from his early sketches from the 1960s to unseen new paintings. It broke the museums ticket sales record and became the fasting selling exhibition in the gallery’s history.

Hockney is one of the world’s greatest living artists, his bold and colourful canvases captured 1960s bohemia, lush tropical vistas in the Hollywood Hills as well as rolling English landscapes, particularly Yorkshire where he was born, where he later returned to live for a while.

Above, Henry Geldzabler and Christopher Scott, City Living Room Man Seated

Above, Hockney’s 9 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon, 1998, below a detail from Going Up Garrowby Hill, 2000

Above, Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, 1970-1, this is one of a series of large double portraits which Hockney began in the late 60s. The couple were Hockney’s friends, Mr Clark is infact Ossie Clark and Mrs Clark, fashion designer Celia Birtwell. They are painted at home.

Above, My Parents painted in 1977, depicting the artists parents, Laura and Kenneth Hockney the year before Hockney’s father died. In 2014 it was selected to appear on billboards and train and bus stations across the UK to make art more accessible to the general public, billing the artwork as ‘the nation’s favourite’ following an online pole.

A Bigger Splash 1967, depicts a splash in a Californian swimming pool. Hockney first visited Los Angeles in 1963 after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London. He returned there in 1964 and remained, with only intermittent trips to Europe, until 1968 when he came back to London. In 1976 he made a final trip back to Los Angeles and set up permanent home there. He was drawn to California by the relaxed and sensual way of life.

He commented: ‘the climate is sunny, the people are less tense than in New York … When I arrived I had no idea if there was any kind of artistic life there and that was the least of my worries.’

A Bigger Splash was painted between April and June 1967 when Hockney was teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. The image is derived in part from a photograph Hockney discovered in a book on the subject of building swimming pools. The background is taken from a drawing he had made of Californian buildings. A Bigger Splash is the largest and most striking of three ‘splash’ paintings.

In California, Hockney discovered, everybody had a swimming pool. Because of the climate, they could be used all year round and were not considered a luxury, unlike in Britain where it is too cold for most of the year. Between 1964 and 1971 he made numerous paintings of swimming pools. In each of the paintings he attempted a different solution to the representation of the constantly changing surface of water.

Book your ticket to view the retrospective (until the 29th May) at the Tate Modern by clicking on this link  

Images c/o The Tate & Guardian Newspaper

Nicky’s World 2017