David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition

By Richard Benefield, Lawrence Weschler, Sarah Howgate, and Gregory Evans

David Hockney is one of the best-known artists of his generation. Renowned for his mastery of drawing, oil painting, printmaking, set design, photocollage, and the camera lucida, he has, since 2002, extended his repertoire to include new forays into watercolor, charcoal, computer and iPad drawing, and the multicamera digital movie.

David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s oeuvre from that watershed year to the present. It includes works made as recently as the spring of 2013, including the twenty-five-drawing sequence The Arrival of Spring in 2013 (twenty thirteen); quintessential paintings such as A Bigger Message (2010) and Under the Trees, Bigger (2010–2011); and other contemporary pieces, from iPad drawings of Yosemite to eighteen-screen movies, that further reveal Hockney’s broad artistic spectrum.

Five essays contextualize Hockney’s achievement in the twenty-first century. Richard Benefield describes organizing an exhibition while new art is still being made. Lawrence Weschler offers personal insight into Hockney’s recent output through the lens of his earlier work, and, in a second essay, explores the nuances of the artist’s iPhone work. Sarah Howgate examines Hockney’s portraiture, including an interview with the artist and her recollections of modeling for him. And Hockney’s own philosophy is shared in his piece, “To See the Bigger Picture Is to See More.”

Published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the de Young in San Francisco, and produced in collaboration with the artist’s studio, this catalogue is filled with a lavish selection of recent work and rare in-progress photographs. It showcases one of the most diverse and prolific chapters in David Hockney’s career, and is replete with fascinating discoveries of a consummate artist at work.


Richard Benefield is the deputy director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. For more than twenty-five years, he has worked closely with living artists to produce commissions, publications, and exhibitions at Harvard University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Brown University.

Lawrence Weschler, a former staff writer at the New Yorker, has published more than fifteen books, including True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney (2008). His most recent collection is Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative (2012). For twelve years, he was the director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University before his retirement in 2013.

Sarah Howgate is curator of contemporary portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London. She has organized such exhibitions as Lucian Freud Portraits (2012) and David Hockney Portraits (2006–2007). Her publications include The Portrait Now (2006) and 21st-Century Portraits (2013), both coauthored with Sandy Nairne.

Gregory Evans is David Hockney’s curator and manager. He has been closely associated with the artist for more than forty years.

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