David Hockney: Drawing from Life

by Sarah Howgate (Author), Isabel Seligman (Author)

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David Hockney is recognised as one of the master draughtsmen of our times and a champion of the medium. This book will feature Hockney’s work from the 1950s to now and focus on his depictions of himself and a smaller group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and his friends, the curator, Gregory Evans, and master printer, Maurice Payne.

This book will examine not only how drawing is fundamental to Hockney’s distinctive way of observing the world around him, but also how it has been a testing ground for ideas and modes of expression later played out in his paintings.

From Old Masters to modern masters, from Holbein to Picasso, Hockney’s portrait drawings reveal his admiration for his artistic predecessors and his continuous stylistic experimentation throughout his career.

Alongside an in-depth essay from the curator, this book will feature an exclusive interview between author and curator, Sarah Howgate, and artist, David Hockney. In addition, an ‘In Focus’ essay by British Museum curator Isabel Seligman, will explore the relationship between Hockney, Ingres and Picasso drawings.

David Hockney

A pioneer of the British Pop Art movement in the early 1960s alongside Richard Hamilton, David Hockney gained recognition for his semi-abstract paintings on the theme of homosexual love before it was decriminalized in England in 1967. In We Two Boys Clinging Together (1961), red-painted couples embrace one other while floating amidst fragments from a Walt Whitman poem. After moving to California at the end of 1963, Hockney began painting scenes of the sensual and uninhibited life of athletic young men, depicting swimming pools, palm trees, and perpetual sunshine. Experimenting with photography in the mid-1970s, Hockney went on to create his famous photocollages with Polaroids and snapshot prints arranged in a grid formation, pushing the two-dimensionality of photography to the limit, fragmenting the monocular vision of the camera and activating the viewer in the process. A versatile artist, Hockney has produced work in almost every medium—including full-scale opera set designs, prints, and drawings using cutting-edge technology such as fax machines, laser photocopiers, computers, and even iPhones and iPads. – Artsy

Product Details

Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1855147971
ISBN-13: 978-1855147973
Dimensions: 25.65 x 2.54 x 27.69 cm
Publisher: National Portrait Gallery; 1st edition (27 Feb. 2020)
Language: English

Editorial Reviews

The octogenarian artist is making the most of uncertain times with a newly released book showcasing portraits of his family and dearest friends.
Janelle Zara
Architectural Digest
A stunning overview of [Hockney's] drawings from the late 1950s to the present day.
Ken Scrudato
Blackbook
A touching, intimate look at one of the nation's best artists.
Eddy Frankel
Time Out London

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