A new exhibition of the work of David Hockney RA titled ’77 Portraits, 2 Still Lifes’ has been announced by the Royal Academy for Summer 2016. The exhibition which will take place in The Sackler Wing will consist of recent portrait paintings, which will revisit the genre which has played such a major part across his long career. Vibrant, observant and full of life, these 77 portraits, which Hockney sees as one body of work, include images of friends, family and art world luminaries. Executed over the last couple of years in Hockney’s Los Angeles studio, each portrait is painted on the same sized canvas (48 x 36 inches) and the sitters are seated in the same chair against the same vivid blue background. The exhibition will be curated by Edith Devaney in close collaboration with the artist.
Portraits will include the fashion designer Celia Birtwell who was Mrs Clark, then wife of fellow designer Ossie Clark. Another one of the subjects for Hockney’s latest body of work includes Dame Edna Everage’s whose alter ego Barry Humphries (see top photo) is an international treasure. Hockney also paints the Californian artist John Baldessari and Mr Hockney’s older sister Margaret.
David Hockney is one of Britain’s best loved artists. In 2012 the Yorkshire born,artist was appointed a member of the Order of Merit ,by the Queen, at Buckingham Palace. 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.