23 Feb 2018

David Hockney

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Reviewed by Harry Newman

This inspiring retrospective of David Hockney has all the greatest hits - A Bigger Splash (1967), Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972), the famed and vaguely disturbing double portraits from the 1970s, and more - but it's the lesser known work that really comes alive, showing Hockney to be not only a painter of light and color, but one of questing intelligence and expanding visual sophistication.

Most surprising are the rarely shown early works, made while still a student, that brought immediate success in early 1960s in London. Large mixed-media pieces, mostly black, gray, and brown, incorporating abstract figures, poetry, and graffiti, overtly depict gay life. In their energy and boldness, they prefigure the work of Basquiat more than two decades later.

Other highlights are Large Interior, Los Angeles (1988), which slyly nods to Matisse, revealed by the show as a primary influence throughout his work, and the almost psychedelic landscapes of the 2000s.

Exhibition David Hockney link
Start date 27 Nov 2017
End date 25 Feb 2018
Presenter Metropolitan Museum of Art link
Venue 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY, USA (at 82nd Street) link map
Image David Hockney, Large Interior, Los Angeles, 1988, oil, ink on cut-and-pasted paper on canvas, 72 1/4 × 120 1/4 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, purchase, Natasha Gelman Gift, in honor of William S. Lieberman, 1989
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