The 10 Most Famous Artworks of David Hockney
From the Pool with Two Figures to The Splash to the Man in Shower in Beverly Hills...
David Hockney, born July 9, 1937 in Bradford, UK, is a British portrait and landscape painter, draftsman, printmaker, decorator, photographer and art theorist.
He is a major figure of the pop art movement of the 1960s and of hyperrealism, and one of the most influential British painters of the twentieth century.
Using bright and eye-catching colors, David Hockney paints portraits and landscapes that blend painting and photography.
niood lists the 10 Most Famous Artworks of David Hockney:
Jack Hazan’s film A Bigger Splash helped make Portrait of an Artist one of David Hockney’s most well-documented paintings. The filming of the film begins in the summer of 1971, a few months before Hockney undertakes the work. It ends with the last brushstrokes given to Portrait of an Artist, a few days before his exhibition at the André Emmerich Gallery in New York, in May 1972. Hazan’s film, which makes this work the crux of a sentimental drama, has long contributed to restricting his exegesis to its narrative dimension alone. Portrait 0f an Artist is certainly linked to David Hockney’s break-up with Peter Schlesinger. This rupture is however only the pretext for a meditation on the relations of art and life.
A Bigger Splash is a perfect promotional image of California, a sketch of the symbols of its way of life, of the clichés of its decor. A perfectly pure sky, low and modern houses, wide open, palm trees with perched high tops and, of course, swimming pools, more swimming pools … A “producer” chair reminds us by its presence that Hollywood is not far. Such a synthesis did not spring thus constituted from the brush of Hockney. Two 1966 paintings announce A Bigger Splash The Little Splash, the first in the series, draws a swimming pool with still curvilinear shapes. It shows a house, whose sloping roof sacrifices more to nostalgia than to local laws of rainfall. The Splash, the same year, this time subjects the swimming pool to the rigor of orthogonality. The distance of a landscape, the prospect of a plinth for modern sculpture, further hollows out a space that the Bigger Splash will violently crush. As the only suggestion of a deep space, A Bigger Splash only retains the line of a diving board, drawn diagonally. Alone, or almost, the leaves of a palm tree distinguish it from a work by Près Mondrian. To ensure the flatness of its colored areas, Hockney goes so far as to abandon its brushes in favor of the roller.
This painting includes some of the artist’s favourite themes: moving water, the curtain, domestic scenes and homoerotic imagery. The curtain motif ( in particular, its flatness and similarities to a painting ( had interested Hockney for several years. The source for the figure is a photograph taken by the Athletic Model Guild, which specialised in male nudes; the figure also has similarities to several images in Physique Pictorial. Hockney had intended from the beginning to add the foreground plant but, having difficulty with the feet, he bent the leaves to cover them. He began painting in acrylic during this first visit to Los Angeles, when colour rather than texture was his main concern.
The work features magnificent colours and a brilliant command of perspective (especially in the drapery of the model’s garment).
Hockney has created a Fauvist composition that delights the senses. The technique used to create this painting ensures that his choice of shade cannot be misinterpreted. Each hue remains fairly undiluted, reflecting the vivid scene that the painter sees both before him and in his mind’s eye.
Nichols Canyon was made in 1980. David Hockney is maybe the most vital English living craftsman today. The force of each splendid stroke of the brush requests consideration, bringing the eye to wander everywhere throughout the canvas.
Fauvism was the first of the cutting edge developments that prospered in France in the early twentieth century. Seemingly rebellious in their creation, the Fauve painters decided that Impressionism would not allow them to express themselves.
Hockney created Pearblossom Highway over several days while in California. He took many photographs of a view on the notorious route 138, Antelope Valley.
The resulting artwork is a picture of the American landscape from both a driver’s and their passenger’s perspective. The right-hand viewpoint represents what a driver would pay attention to whiling motoring along that stretch; the road signs, the writing on the road itself, the built up destination in the distance – all the things that an attentive driver would consider.
On the left side of the piece is the view from the passenger’s side. Hockney eludes to the fact that a passenger is a more leisurely observer, noticing the scenery, the trees and the litter on the road.
The passenger does not have to attend to the road signs and the driver does not have time to admire the view. The composition also plays on perspective by way of the enlargement of nearer objects. This techniques further emphasises the differing standpoints involved.
In the mid-1970s Marcia and Frederick chose to end their marriage, however they stayed dear companions and throughout the years added to the development of each person’s generous accumulations of craftsmanship.
In the painting, they each seem close to the works of art and by choosing to have them mirror the pieces, the artist may be displaying their dedication to their purpose.
In the 70’s, Hockney’s use of realism in his artwork heightened, yet none of his paintings ever looked like a photograph, although he utilised photos as references. His work didn’t transform into Photorealism. Nor did it ever seem stuffy or out-dated. Taking a gander at the compositions of this period and in addition at the uncommonly direct drawings in ink that the artist has completed over the years, it seems that his interest in Realism is not new and has always been displayed in his art.
With its distinctive blue terrace in the background and swimming pool in the centre, Garden 2015 is instantly recognizable as Hockney’s own Hollywood garden. The cacti that occupy the foreground of the picture make the garden a haven of life and colour amidst the drought California was gripped by at the time of painting. The bright acrylics capture the vibrancy of his LA home, explored by the artist from different view points over the course of many years of his impressive career.
The most prominent part of this piece is his red overalls, or as he likes to call them “braces”.
The painting itself is of two of Hockney’s friends: a famous fashion designer called Ossie Clark, and a textile designer who was his then-wife Cecilia Birtwell.
A little bit of background information on this painting would be that this painting was just painted after the couple’s wedding in which Hockney not only attended but was also the best man to Mr Clark.