David Hockney: Painting on Paper

17 January - 1 March 2003

This exhibition by David Hockney concentrates on the artist's dynamic new exploration with watercolour.  All painted in 2002, the works in the exhibition focus principally on a brilliant series of 9 large landscapes inspired by the artist's recent travels to Norway and Iceland and on a spectacular group of double and single portraits of friends.  Further to the landscape and portrait series 'Painting on Paper' also includes an additional  group of works made this year: studies of bonsai trees,  and a selection of sensitive line-drawing portraits. 


Hockney decided to go to Norway and Iceland for the summer light and whilst there was inspired by the scenery.  The landscape paintings from the trip are characteristically bold in colour and form and, painted on multiple sheets of paper, are of a scale and impact rarely seen in watercolour. 


Having overcome the technical difficulties of working in a large format with watercolour Hockney has extended the use of the medium to paint a series of large-scale double portraits.  This exhibition includes 8 of these and 3 single portraits made during sittings at Hockney's studio.   Characteristic of Hockney's experience and sensitivity these portraits combine individual likeness with artisitc interpretation to create personalities that are simultaneously familiar and excitingly original.


David Hockney was born in Bradford in 1937. He graduated from the Bradford School of Art in 1957 and studied at the Royal College of Art from 1959-1962. While there he met RB Kitaj and became instrumental in the founding of the British Pop Art movement. Hockney settled in Los Angeles in 1978. He has been the subject of countless solo exhibitions worldwide including a major touring retrospective held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Tate Gallery, London in 1988.  He remains one of the most important and respected artists internationally and this exhibition is further testimony to his experience, skill and continuing innovation.