David Hockney: A Drawing Retrospective

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9780811813143: David Hockney: A Drawing Retrospective
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David Hockney is perhaps the most widely celebrated artist of recent decades, producing work in almost every medium - painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking - as well as designing critically acclaimed sets for the stage. David Hockney: A Drawing Retrospective brings together for the first time an exciting selection of Hockney's work on paper and in sketchbooks, presenting many drawings that have never been reproduced before - including several from the artist's personal collection. Spanning his entire career, from 1954 to the present, these images show how drawing lies at the very heart of Hockney's work, a fundamental aspect of his graphic approach to every medium. Among the pieces reproduced here are portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and images of California and the other places Hockney has visited, together with subjects that reveal more personal aspects of the artist's life.
Authoritative essays by Ulrich Luckhardt and Paul Melia, curators of the first major retrospective of Hockney's drawings in fifteen years, examine the artist's skills as a draftsman, presenting a chronological view of his evolving style and technique, and placing the drawings in the context of his work as a whole. Biographical notes and a select bibliography are also included, making David Hockney: A Drawing Retrospective an invaluable source of reference as well as a beguiling and dazzling compendium of drawings by one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.

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From Booklist:

No living artist is better known than David Hockney. His paintings of well-heeled people (his friends and collectors) in large, sparely furnished rooms filled with pastel light and of swimming pools outside those rooms are icons of Southern California that have influenced everything from display advertising to MTV. He is the best stage designer for opera in ages, and his male nudes are admired by more than just his fellow gay men. This survey's 165 drawings, dating from Hockney's British art school days to 1994, collectively show one reason for his long-lived success: he samples from throughout the history of art, stylistically (recently, from synthetic cubism) and technically (e.g., using van Gogh's tool, the reed pen, to draw as he did); this borrowing makes Hockney's work rich in cultural suggestion yet never overpowers his own artistic personality. The essays by Luckhardt and Melia help with appreciating Hockney's uses of older art but don't bog down in technical talk. A most rewarding art book, though some early colorplates are inexplicably out of numerical order. Ray Olson

From Publishers Weekly:

British-born artist David Hockney has lived in L.A. since the 1970s. His luxuriant drawings of California, with their Mediterranean-like idyll of blue skies, palm trees and swimming pools, speak of alienation and spiritual emptiness. In this catalogue of a retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hockney's diverse crayon, charcoal-and-ink drawings and watercolors include ruthlessly honest self-portraits, serene still lifes, nudes, street scenes, penetrating portraits and startlingly original vistas based on his travels in Egypt, Morocco, Paris and Hollywood. Also included are experimental works such as computer drawings, fax-machine images and Polaroid collages that combine photography with pencil sketches. In their accompanying essay to a rich, constantly new body of work, Luckhardt, a curator at the Hamburger Lunsthalle, and Melia, a British art historian, explore how drawing informs Hockney's approach to every medium, including painting and stage-set design.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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