To mark his 80th birthday, David Hockney will be honoured with a permanent gallery dedicated to his work by his hometown of Bradford. Cartwright Hall will become The David Hockney Gallery located in the city centre. “I used to love going to Cartwright Hall as a kid,” Hockney said in a statement. “It was the only place in Bradford I could see real paintings.” Hockney was born in Bradford in 1937 and studied at Bradford Art School between the ages of 16 and 20.
He moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art in 1959 and went on to become one of the leading figures in British art.
The gallery will be refitted and exhibit works ranging from sketches to some of his best-known paintings along with his recent iPad drawings. It is set to open on 7 July – two days before his 80th birthday. Cartwright Hall already owns one of the largest public collection of Hockney’s early works and will be showing them in the dedicated Hockney gallery.
Exhibits will include drawings and sketches from his days studying in the city, many of which, Cartwright Hall says, have rarely been seen in public and never all at once. The council-run gallery also owns later works including Le Plongeur, his 1978 pool scene. Cartwright Hall curator Jill Iredale said: “It was important to us that we mark this birthday of one of the world’s most significant, influential and engaging artists who just happens to be from Bradford.
“This new gallery will be a place where people will be able to see what inspired Hockney while he was here in the city and engage directly with some of his work from then through to now.”
Cartwright Hall is transforming an area that previously hosted rotating exhibitions
A permanent exhibition showcasing the artist’s work already exists in Bradford’s Salts Mill building.
Its 1853 Gallery displays a large number of his paintings and a further 49 pictures from his The Arrival of Spring collection are housed in a separate room.
On Friday, a spokesman for Bradford Council said that proposal was never seriously considered.
In a statement, Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, sport and culture, said: “Cartwright Hall is the natural home for a gallery celebrating David Hockney, a son of Bradford and much loved as an artist all over the world. “It will be so exciting to view his early work gathered together so we can see what initially inspired him and how his work developed over the years.