The David Hockney retrospective that just finished running at Tate Britain has drawn 478,082 visitors past the gate. This makes it the most visited exhibition ever held at the gallery on Millbank, either in its time as the Tate Gallery or since it became Tate Britain in 2000.
It is wonderful that the public found the exhibition so exciting, thought-provoking and moving – Alex Farquharson
The show which opened on 9 February and ran until 29 May 2017 was the world’s most extensive retrospective of Hockney’s work and was seen by an average of over 4,300 visitors each day. Almost 35,000 advance tickets were sold before the show opened – more than any other show in Tate’s history – and popular demand led to a series of special late openings, including the gallery staying open until midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of its final weekend. It is now the most visited exhibition of a living artist ever held at any of Tate’s four galleries.
Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain said: ‘Tate Britain is the home of British art and the perfect place to showcase one of our greatest living artists. The response to this retrospective – the first in 29 years – has been incredible. It is wonderful that so many people have had the chance to see it, and that they found the exhibition so exciting, thought-provoking and moving. We look forward to many more people seeing the exhibition when it travels to Paris and New York.’
Staged in advance of David Hockney’s 80th birthday this summer, the exhibition offered an unprecedented opportunity to survey six decades of his work. Presented as a chronological overview, it traced his development from the moment of his prodigious appearance on the public stage as a student, through to his iconic works of the 1960s and 1970s, and on to his celebrated images of the Yorkshire landscape and of the Hollywood Hills. The exhibition will now travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris from 21 June to 23 October 2017, followed by The Metropolitan Museum in New York from 21 November 2017 to 25 February 2018.
Curated by Chris Stephens, Head of Displays & Lead Curator, Modern British Art, and Andrew Wilson, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art and Archives, with Assistant Curator Helen Little. It was sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation with additional support from the David Hockney Exhibition Supporters Circle and was organised by Tate Britain in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Metropolitan Museum, New York.
Before the opening of Tate Modern and the renaming of the Millbank site as Tate Britain in 2000, the original Tate Gallery’s most popular exhibition was ‘Cezanne’ in 1996 with 406,688 visitors. Since then, Tate Britain’s most visited show was ‘Turner Whistler Monet’ in 2005 (382,269 visitors) and Tate Modern’s most visited show was ‘Matisse: The Cut-Outs’ in 2014 (562,622 visitors), followed by ‘Matisse Picasso’ in 2002 (467,166 visitors) and ‘Damien Hirst’ in 2012 (463,087 visitors).
Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2017