The Queen would make a “terrific subject” but he prefers to paint people he knows.
The British Artist David Hockney has been so busy organising his Landscapes exhibition, due to open early in January 2012, at the Royal Academy, that he has had to turn down a request to paint the Queen. The palace have declined to comment on the story, but it is understood from an interview on Front Row, BBC radio 4 that the 74 year old was “very busy”. Hockney added she would make a “terrific subject” but he prefers to paint people he knows.”When I was asked I told them I was very busy painting England actually. Her country,” he said. Hockney was offered a knighthood in 1990 but turned it down. He was furious when the information leaked out, particularly as he has since accepted being made a Companion of Honour. He told the local paper in Bradford: “I don’t value prizes of any sort. I value my friends. Prizes of any sort are a bit suspect. I turned it down because at the time I was living in America, but in the end I changed my mind because you have to be gracious.”
The RA show will be one of the leading events in the run up to the London 2012 Festival part of the Cultural Olympiad.The works will be shown alongside related drawings and films as well as his digital works using the iPad. The exhibition will address the various approaches that David Hockney has taken towards the depiction of landscape throughout his career. Past works from national and international collections will include Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians, 1965 (Acrylic on Canvas), Garrowby Hill, 1998, (Oil on Canvas) and the ambitious (Oil on 60 Canvases) A Closer Grand Canyon, 1998.
Hockney’s involvement with the depiction of space is traced in this exhibition from the 1960s, through his photocollages of the 1980s and the Grand Canyon paintings of the late 1990s, to the
recent paintings of East Yorkshire, many of which have been made en plein air. He has always embraced new technologies; recently he has used the iPhone and iPad as tools for making art. A
number of iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using eighteen cameras will be displayed on multiple screens, providing a spellbinding visual experience.
Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney attended Bradford School of Art before studying at the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. Hockney’s stellar reputation was established while he was still a student; his work was featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries, which heralded the birth of British Pop Art. He visited Los Angeles in the early 1960s and settled there soon after. He is closely associated with southern California and has produced a large body of work there over many decades. David Hockney was elected a Royal Academician in 1991. Photo: © ArtLyst 2010