David Hockney

David Hockney, OM CH RA ( born July 9, 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire ) is a British painter, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, who lived a long time in California and in 2000 to Bridlington, England, returned. Hockney is regarded as an influential artist of the 20th century.

Life and work

Hockney was born the fourth of five children, the son of the accountant Kenneth Hockney and his wife Laura. The father was an amateur painter and promoted the artistic talent of the son. After attending Bradford Grammar School he enrolled in 1959 at the Royal College of Art in London, where he met RB Kitaj. He was often associated with the Pop art, he himself denied this, however, always. His early works show expressionist and are the work of Francis Bacon similar. Sometimes, as in We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961 ), named after a poem by Walt Whitman, his works relate to his homosexuality.

Later Hockney settled in California and painted a series of oil paintings of swimming pools in Los Angeles. These have a more realistic style and use vibrant colors. He also made ​​prints, portraits of friends and stage designs for Glyndebourne, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

He was a participant of the documenta 4 in Kassel in 1968 and also at documenta 6 in 1977 as an artist.

1974, Hockney was the subject of Jack Hazans movie A Bigger Splash ( named after one of Hockney's swimming pool paintings from 1967 ). Many of his works are now in the old textile factory Salts Mill in Saltaire, near Bradford.

As of 1976, Hockney created with the briefcase Twenty Photographic Pictures photographic work and had success with this art. His "Pictures " he made ​​over 100 Polaroid images to a photo collage together. Because these photos were taken from different perspectives and at slightly different times, the result is reminiscent Cubist paintings. Some of these works represent landscapes, others are portraits. An example of this creative phase is a composite of 63 Polaroids composition that shows the sisters Imogen and Hermiane Cornwall -Jones. From the mid- 1980s, Hockney painting turned back to more, had the influences of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. At the same time he created with the new technical opportunities Homemade prints, images from the color copier, and fax machines with rendered images.

In 1991 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His paintings are valued on the art market with up to 2.5 million pounds.

For the Vienna State Opera in 2012, he designed a huge big screen (176 m² ), which is shown in the season 2012/2013 as part of the museum designed in progress exhibition series " Iron Curtain ".

Critics of the anti-smoking campaign

Hockney is as smoking a vehement critic of the UK and everywhere else introduced smoking bans. He founded the among other things, that this only serves the pharmaceutical industry, which could thus spread products such as Prozac unhindered. Hockney but does not deny that smoking, passive or active, in principle can also be harmful. However, he keeps considerations of this kind not just for visionary exploits.


Literary work

  • 2001: Secret Knowledge. Lost Techniques of the Old Masters rediscovered by David Hockney, Knesebeckstraße, ISBN 3-89660-092-3
  • 2005: The world in my eyes. Autobiography 1973 - 1992, published by Kurt Liebig, ISBN 978-3-938715-00-0