David Hockney – Art history

 David Hockney – Art history


David Hockney and model Joe MacDonald.


David Hockney,  (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.


David Hockney With the first real love of his life, Peter Schlesinger, in the 1974.

David Hockney and Peter Schlesinger. Image © David Hockney, used courtesy of Film Movement.

In the summer of 1975 Hockney begins to experiment with photography. That July, he spends time on Fire Island with legendary curator Henry Geldzahler. By January Hockney is almost completely focused on this new medium. 

1976. Artist David Hockney captured through the lens of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Taken at Bruce Mailman’s (owner of the Saint) home at 442 Ocean & Sail.

David Hockney 1976 by Robert Mapplethorpe
david and henry (david hockney & henry geldzahler), fire island by robert mapplethorpe

With Henry Geldzahler.

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“Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” 1972, is a dreamy composition imagined by Hockney. Peter Schlesinger, young Art student at UCLA, then David’s lover, stands above the pool, considering, looking, without looking at another human being gently swimming silently underwater. A sense of foreboding in this idyllic surrounding impregnates the painting: Peter was becoming more distant and moved out while David was working on it. This magnificent canvas filled with yearning reminds us of a short poem by Constantine P. Cavafy, (poems from which David would later make a series of illustrations)

The 1972 painting is among the artist’s most famous pieces and was recently part of a Hockney retrospective at Tate Modern in London that toured to both The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The show was Tate’s most visited exhibition ever, with nearly half a million visitors.

The creation of the work was chronicled in the 1974 Jack Hazan film A Bigger Splash.


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