David Hockney hails Tate Britain exhibition tracing life's work

The biggest ever retrospective of the work of David Hockney will trace his development from a student in the 1960s to one of Britain’s greatest living artists.

The exhibition at the Tate Britain will feature more than 250 pieces of artwork to celebrate his achievement in painting, drawing, photography and video.

Hockney, 79, revisited works he created decades ago for the show and said: “Many of them seem like old friends to me now.”

The chronological overview will trace his development from his first appearance on the public stage in 1961, through his works of the 1960s and 1970s to his recent shows at the Royal Academy.

It will include examples of the artist’s use of parody and self-reflection in his Love paintings of 1960 and 1961, his portraits of friends, family and himself, as well as his famous images of Los Angeles swimming pools and his Yorkshire landscapes of the 2000s, as well as the work he created since he returned to California in 2013.

The exhibition will also show how the Bradford-born artist, who has frequently changed his styles and way of working, has embraced new technologies, as well as how his previous work has informed what came next.

Hockney, who recently redesigned The Sun’s masthead for a one-off edition of the newspaper, using a painting app on a tablet to create a hand-drawn sun and its rays, said: “It has been a pleasure to revisit works I made decades ago, including some of my earliest paintings. Many of them seem like old friends to me now.

“We’re looking back over a lifetime with this exhibition, and I hope, like me, people will enjoy seeing how the roots of the new and recent work can be seen in developments over the years.

Alex Farquharson, director of the Tate Britain, said: “David Hockney is without doubt one of Britain’s greatest living artists. His practice is both consistent, in its pursuit of core concerns, while also wonderfully diverse.

“Hockney’s impact on post-war art, and culture more generally, is inestimable, and this is a fantastic opportunity to see the full trajectory of his career to date.”

Following the presentation in London, the exhibition will travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

David Hockney will be at the Tate Britain from February 9 to May 29.

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