David Hockney Biography | Oil Paintings

7-9-1937 Bradford, ENG

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Hockney, David

British painter, photographer, and designer David Hockney was born in Bradford, Yorkshire and trained at the Royal College of Art. There his fellow students included Allen Jones, Derek Bashir, and R.B. Kitaj, and together they all exhibited at the Young Contemporaries exhibition of 1961, a landmark show which marked the arrival of British Pop Art.

Hockney himself denies belonging to this movement, even though his early work contained many references to popular culture. Instead, his style may be better defined as New Figuration, a blanket term, relating to the revival of figurative art in the 1960s. David Hockney, moved on from Abstract Art in 1961 to establish an intense dialog with American art, and with Pop Art.

Hockney has traveled widely in Europe, but his main passion has been for the United States, especially Los Angeles where he settled in 1976. Throughout his career, autobiographical subjects have featured heavily in his paintings, ranging from friends and lovers sunbathing by swimming pools to an entire book of pictures devoted to his dogs.

His trip to California in 1964 marked a crucial turning point in his career and artistic style. It was then that he began painting in acrylics, which give a particular “plasticized” patina to some of his works. He was also struck by the many swimming pools at the large California homes that they became one of his favorite subjects. Many of his works can be called Hyper Realism, where the extreme precision itself makes the work appear artificial.

David Hockney has also been a prolific stage designer, creating sets and costumes for The Rake's Progress, The Magic Flute, and Parade. In recent years, he has also experimented with photo work, producing elaborate photo-collages from hundreds of photographic prints. As with many other contemporary American and European painters, photography has played a pivotal role in Hockney's work, thanks to the capacity to decompose, modify, and explore the subject, even the titles of the paintings indicate a precise date and place, typical of photographs arranged in an order in an album.

His oil painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) shown below, painted in 1972, was sold at auction in New York in November, 2018. After nine minutes of intense bidding it broke the record for the most expensive piece of art sold by any living artist.

Art Movement History: Realism, Pop Art
Artists Influencing David Hockney: Frank Lisle, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet
He Traveled To USA, France
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.

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