David Hockney (1937-)
Considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century David Hockney has been producing significant works throughout the past fifty years. An important contributor to the Pop Art movement, Hockney works in various mediums including painting, photography, lithography, etching and stage design.
Born in 1937 in Yorkshire, England, Hockney received basic training from a young age in drawing, figure studies, portraiture and landscape. He began studying at the Royal College of Art in 1959 and showed his work in the groundbreaking 1961 Young Contemporaries exhibition with Peter Blake, Allan Jones and R.J. Kitaj. This exhibition announced the arrival of Pop Art in Britain.
In 1964 Hockney travelled to Los Angeles for the first time where he began to create the rich colourful works for which he is best known. These works are Hockney's representation of the people, landscapes and buildings of everyday life in California. Hockney decided to stay in Los Angeles where he lived for many years. During this period, he exhibited in New York and befriended Andy Warhol and Dennis Hopper. In 1974 Warhol drew an iconic linear portrait in graphite of Hockney which is now owned by the National Galleries of Scotland.
While in California Hockey taught at the University of California, Berkeley and created some of his most iconic works including the California Dreaming series and Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy. He also painted a series of swimming pools that illustrate reflections and splashes of water on canvas.
Along with his paintings and drawings Hockney began to produce works in 1970 which he called joiners. These works are essentially photomontages that present objects and landscapes from multiple angles and times which are then fixed together on one flat, two dimensional surface very much in a Cubist style. This homage to Cubism was intentional and reflects Hockney's deep admiration for Picasso.
In 2009 Hockney's iconic painting Beverly Hills Housewife, 1966-67 from the California Dreaming series garnered $7.9 million at auction, a record for Hockney and a confirmation of his strong position in the Contemporary market.
Today, Hockney's works span several mediums and decades and can be observed in museum collections and retrospectives, gallery exhibitions and auction houses worldwide. David Hockney continues to produce his art from Yorkshire where he lives and works today.