Voted ‘Britain’s Most Influential Artist of All Time’ in a 2011 poll, David Hockney remains one of Britain’s most popular and well-respected artists. Having worked as a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, photographer, videographer and stage designer, Hockney’s versatility has aided his popularity, making his paintings and limited edition prints some of the most sought-after in the art market.

BEGINNINGS

Born in 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire, Hockney went on to study at the Bradford School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art in London where he won the Royal College of Art gold medal in 1962 for his draughtsmanship and innovation in painting. Hockney left art school at a time when artists were flocking to New York to practice Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, however he chose to go to to LA to practice figurative painting. There he would go on to pursue his fascination with swimming pools that would produce some of his more iconic works.

CHALLENGING TRADITION

Figurative painting during this period was considered old news, yet Hockney still managed to exist ahead of his time. His works challenge traditional approaches to art while simultaneously broadening his repertoire, continually incorporating new styles and techniques. This includes the elaborate stage sets he designed during the 1970s and the photo collages he produced in the 1980s which he calls ‘joiners.’ Perhaps the most controversial of his works, however, have been the hundreds of portraits, still lifes and landscapes such as, Winter Timber, painted on his iPhone and iPad through the app ‘Brushes in recent years. Iconic of Hockney’s work is his electric use of colour, reminiscent of the colour contrasts of Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard.

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