David Hockney

Born in Bradford in 1937, Hockney studied first at the Bradford School of Art, moving to London in 1959 to study for three years at the Royal College of Art. His remarkable talent became evident while he was still a student, and his early images very quickly became an essential element of the Swinging Sixties’ art scene, depicting amongst other things the glitterati of London (Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy; Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy).

But it was a visit to Los Angeles in early 1964 which was to kick start a life-long love affair with the sun-drenched Californian idylls which are at the heart of his most familiar paintings, with towering palm trees and shimmering swimming pools a major feature (A Bigger Splash; Beverley Hills Housewife; Portrait of an Artist [Pool with Two Figures]).

Hockney has always been associated with innovative techniques in art, and his inventiveness seemed to increase with his age: his collages using Polaroid photographs are much-loved, and his astonishing 2013 nine-screen film meticulously documenting the changing seasons in Woldgate Woods involved nine cameras rigged onto his slow-moving Jeep while the artist himself directed the action from the back seat.

And, of course, Hockney was famously an early pioneer of the iPad as an artistic tool, enjoying in his mid-70s a new artistic freedom.   In his later years, he has turned to depicting the more familiar visual pleasures of his beloved East Yorkshire Wolds, but still seeking out new techniques – images such as the epic Bigger Trees Near Warter and Woldgate Woods, 24, 25 and 26 October, 2006, which sold in New York for $11.7m late in 2016 setting a new record for the artist’s work, employed multiple linked canvases to create a single artwork. It’s a technique invented by Hockney because he couldn’t fit such large-scale paintings up the stairs of his studio in Bridlington.

East Yorkshire landscapes from this extraordinarily productive decade, including Bigger Trees, Garrowby Hill and
The Coming of Spring, a set of 25 large charcoal drawings which explore the effect of light, shade and texture on the local landscape, feature in the Tate’s 2017 retrospective of his work to celebrate his 80th birthday: it’s the gallery’s fastest-selling exhibition ever.



He’s Bradford born and bred and lives mainly in the States these days, but the heart of the man who can probably lay claim to the title of world’s favourite living artist lies very much in East Yorkshire.

David Hockney is an astonishing polymath: painter, printmaker, photographer, stage designer and draughtsman. He keeps homes in London and California – and yet until very recently his preferred residence was in Bridlington, just up the road from Cottingham, the home of the Artmarket Gallery.


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