David Hockney

For more than six decades, David Hockney has interrogated how we see the world. Few artists have rivalled the breadth and depth of his practice. Working across painting, drawing, prints, photography, collage, set design and digital media, he has produced one of the past century's most extraordinary theses on the nature of human vision.

Hockney studied at Bradford School of Art and London’s Royal College of Art. There, his contemporaries included early Pop Art pioneers such as R. B. Kitaj and Allen Jones. He first visited New York in 1961. By the end of 1963, he met Andy Warhol and Dennis Hopper and began what would become an enduring friendship with Henry Geldzahler, curator of 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, it was the West Coast lifestyle that captivated him. Inspired by the region’s light, colour and landscape, Hockney moved to California in 1964. His swimming pool paintings, including A Bigger Splash (1967), earned him international acclaim.

Back in London in 1968, Hockney embarked upon his landmark suite of double portraits. Paintings from this series represent his top auction prices. Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott (1969) sold for £37,661,248 at Christie’s London in 2019. The previous year, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) realised $90,312,496 at Christie’s New York, setting a new world record for the artist. The work represents Hockney’s farewell to his first great love and muse, Peter Schlesinger. Sur la Terrasse (1971), a portrait painted on the brink of their break-up, sold for $29,501,250 at Christie’s New York in 2019.

Much of Hockney's work has concerned the role of the camera. His photo-collages — such as his 1986 depiction of Pearblossom Highway — shed new light upon the mechanics of sight. Inspired by Cubism and Chinese scroll paintings, Hockney proposed that we do not see the world in single snapshots. Instead, we stitch together many simultaneous viewpoints. He would continue to explore these ideas in his 2001 book Secret Knowledge.

Hockney's landscape paintings, in turn, grew ever-more ambitious. After returning to California in 1978, he painted major works such as Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio (1980) and vast depictions of the Grand Canyon. In 2005, he returned to his native Yorkshire, where he started to paint en plein air. His diary of the changing seasons culminated in the 32-canvas masterpiece The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011. During the COVID-19 pandemic he turned his attention to the landscape surrounding his house in Normandy.

Though deeply inspired by his forebears — from Claude Monet and Henri Matisse to Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh — Hockney has always looked forwards. His exploration of media such as video, the iPad and 3D photographic drawing continue to write new chapters for the future. Restlessly pushing the boundaries of image-making, he remains one of the greatest living artists of his generation.


DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

The Wave, a Lithograph

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and Two Light Blue Washes

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book, from Paper Pools

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Going Round, from Some More New Prints

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Untitled No. 1, from The Yosemite Suite

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

The Restaurateur

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Celia -- Weary

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Igor Stravinsky Poster: Metropolitan Opera

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

A Souvenir for a Triple Bill (For Chris)

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Ann in the Studio

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Sur la Terrasse

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

A Lawn Being Sprinkled

DAVID HOCKNEY (b. 1937)

Winter Timber

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Early Morning, Sainte-Maxime

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Early Blossom, Woldgate

DAVID HOCKNEY (b. 1937)

Queen Anne's Lace Near Kilham

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Portrait of Sir David Webster

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Nichols Canyon III

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Day Pool with Three Blues (Paper Pool 7)

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Guest House Garden

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Beverly Hills Housewife

DAVID HOCKNEY (b. 1937)

The Conversation

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Sprungbrett mit Schatten (Paper Pool 14)

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Track and Hedgerow, January

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Woldgate Tree, May

DAVID HOCKNEY (b. 1937)

Four Different Kinds of Water

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Great Pyramid at Giza with Broken Head from Thebes

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Chair with a Horse Drawn by Picasso

David Hockney (b. 1937)

California Bank

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Beach Umbrella

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Fruit in a Chinese Bowl

David Hockney (B. 1937)

Flowers Sent as a Gift

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

David Graves in a Harlequin Shirt

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Rudston to Sledmere, August

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Green Pool with Diving Board and Shadow (Paper Pool 3)

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Green Pool with Diving Board and Shadow (Paper Pool 3)

David Hockney (b. 1937)

With Conversation

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Santa Monica Boulevard

David Hockney (b. 1937)

A Visit with Mo and Lisa, Echo Park

David Hockney (b. 1937)

The Sea at Malibu

David Hockney (b. 1937)

Santa Monica Boulevard

DAVID HOCKNEY (B. 1937)

Green Pool with Diving Board and Shadow (Paper Pool 3)