David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition marks the return to California of the best-known British artist of his generation with a show assembled exclusively for the de Young. It is the first comprehensive survey of Hockney’s work since 2002, arguably the most prolific decade of his career.
As the title makes clear, this exhibition is grand in scope and scale. Many of the landscapes are of monumental proportions, including multi-canvas oil paintings and large-scale digital movies shot with multiple cameras, some requiring as many as 18 monitors for their display. More than 300 works in 18,000 square feet of gallery space make this the largest show in the history of the de Young.
Hockney (b. 1937) is renowned for using new technologies in his art, from Polaroid cameras and fax machines to the iPhone. This exhibition highlights his Photoshop portraits, digital videos that track the changing seasons, and bright landscapes created using the iPad. It also encompasses more traditional media, such as oil paintings, charcoal drawings, and the artist’s first extensive work using watercolors.
The landscapes in the exhibition picture the agrarian settings of Hockney’s beloved England, as well as his unique perspectives of California, Iceland, and Norway. The portraits, a vital aspect of Hockney’s practice since his youth, depict friends, colleagues, and family members, revealing the artist’s personal and intimate relationships with his sitters. This first showing of recent charcoal portraits and landscapes that depict the arrival of spring in 2013 reveal the artist at the peak of his creative powers.
The exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the artist.
Penny and James George Coulter
David Davies and Jack Weeden
The Michael Taylor Trust
Diane B. Wilsey
Bequest of Dr. Charles L. Dibble
Ray and Dagmar Dolby
Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue
Additional support provided by Hope Shuttleworth Herndon
The catalogue is published with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment for Publications.