Born in Yorkshire 79 years ago, he fell in love with the idea of California as a child via Hollywood movies at the local cinema where he went with his father. After art school and some exhibition success, David Hockney acted on his fascination with Hollywood by moving there in 1966 aged 29. He embraced the light, the colours, the landscape and the swimming pools as exemplified by his famous painting A Bigger Splash from 1967. Attracted even then to newer technologies such as polaroid photography and computer graphics, he abandoned painting in the mid-70s for fifteen years, resuming in the late 80s.
This popular, influential and endlessly experimental artist will be the subject of a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria from 11 November. Curated by the NGV in collaboration with David Hockney and his studio, the show will feature more than 700 works from the most recent decade of his career – paintings, digital drawings, photography and video works. Barry Humphries and John Baldessari are among the subjects of 80 recently painted acrylic portraits to be shown in a dedicated 35-metre long gallery. A number of works will be newly created for this exhibition. Hockney’s largest painting so far, Bigger Trees Near Warter, comprising 50 oil on canvas panels, will be another highlight. It comes from his re-connection with the Yorkshire landscape of his youth. David Hockney will run until mid-March.
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