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Definition: Hockney, David from Philip's Encyclopedia

English painter, the most acclaimed British artist of his generation. He first attracted attention with witty pop art paintings, such as Flight into Italy-Swiss Landscape (1962). The swimming-pool was a common theme, such as A Bigger Splash (1967). His portraits in spacious interiors, such as Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (1970), are almost period pieces. His graphic work is often regarded as being more innovative than his painting.

Summary Article: Hockney, David
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English painter, printmaker, and designer. One of the best-known figures in 20th-century British pop art, he developed a distinctive figurative style, as in his portrait Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (1971). A Bigger Splash (1967) demonstrates his interest in bright flat blocks of colour and distinct line. He has experimented prolifically with technique, and produced drawings; etchings, including Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm (1970); photo collages; and opera sets for Glyndebourne, East Sussex; La Scala, Milan; and the Metropolitan, New York. In the 2000s, Hockney used digital photography to create vast multi-canvas works, such as Bigger Trees Near Warter (2007), his largest painting to date; he also had a prolific output of works created with paint programmes on the iPad and iPhone.

He exhibited at the Young Contemporaries Show in 1961 and held his first solo exhibition in 1963, showing paintings that exploited pictorial ambiguities in a witty, self-consciously naive manner. In 1964 he went to California for the first time, and many of his later paintings are concerned with Los Angeles life; his views of swimming pools reflect a preoccupation with surface pattern and the effects of light on water as well as with young male figures. His drawings in pencil or pen and ink, many of them portraits of friends, are carried out with seemingly effortless ability. In 1963 he produced a series of etchings updating Hogarth's The Rake's Progress and in 1975 he designed the sets and costumes for the Glyndebourne Festival Theatre production of Igor Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress.

During the 1980s his work included some experiments with unconventional media, including prints created on a photocopier, and in the 1990s he used more digital media in his work. In 1999 he was awarded the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Award.

Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, he studied at Bradford School of Art (1953–57) and then at the Royal College of Art, London (1959–62). His books include David Hockney (1976), Travels With Pen, Pencil, and Ink (1978), Paper Pools (1980), David Hockney Photographs (1982), Hockney Paints the Stage (1983), and Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters (2001, revised 2006). He was the subject of the semidocumentary film A Bigger Splash (1973).


Hockney, David

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