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One of the most widely acclaimed of all living artists, David Hockney has, in some ways, been the victim of his own popularity. Frequently interpreted as the lightweight expression of a colourful personality, his work is in fact characterized by an underlying seriousness of purpose. This emerges with particular clarity from the fresh appraisal of the artist's oeuvre offered in this book.
Each of the volume's six chapters, broadly chronological in sequence, is introduced by an essay that examines in depth certain aspects of Hockney's artistic practice. The complexity of his seemingly straightforward imagery is further elucidated in the commentaries accompanying each of the sixty-three carefully selected colour plates. These encompass the period from 1960 to 1993, from work produced during the artist's student days at the Royal College of Art in London to his most recent paintings, informed by his experience of designing for the stage and by his experiments with photo-collage and fax art. Included are paintings being illustrated for the first time and others that have rarely been reproduced in colour. Numerous black-and-white illustrations of related works provide important reference material. An illustrated chronology and a selected bibliography conclude this lucid, authoritative account of Hockney's development.
With access to the artist's personal archives, the authors have drawn on new documentary research to dispel certain myths about Hockney's work and open up new lines of enquiry. Intended for the general reader, this book will also be of interest to all students of modern painting and to admirers of one of its most appealing exponents.
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Although many will not be familiar with the great artists included in this volume, Caspar David Friedrich, Lovis Corinth, and Max Klinger are well-known names whose works form the core of the permenant collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Liepzig, Germany. The 84 paintings here reproduced in this sumptuously illustrated volume provide a rare opportunity to learn about these masters and their influence, especially between 1840 and 1880, when Germany had a profound impact on artistic life in America.
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