Cherry Blossom.
2002

Watercolor

Hockney is in New York for the twentieth-anniversary revival of his production design for the triple bill, Parade, at the Metropolitan Opera. [NESTED]While staying at the Mayflower Hotel, he is inspired by an exhibition of Chinese watercolors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he starts making watercolors, asking friends to sit for single- and double-portraits, and painting still-lifes as well as the view from his room.

Self Portrait in Bathroom Mirror with Sink, New York, 2002
Self Portrait in Bathroom Mirror with Sink, New York, 2002
Two Pots of African Violets, New York
Two Pots of Cyclamen, New York
Cyclamen, Mayflower Hotel, New York
Vase of Flowers with Book on Table, New York
Potted Violets and an Apple, New York
View from Mayflower Hotel, New York (Evening)
View from Mayflower Hotel, New York (Morning)
African Violet on Purple Table, New York
Hydrangea, Mayflower Hotel, New York
Pink African Violet, New York
Looking Down on Purple African Violet, New York
Purple, Pink and Yellow African Violets with Apple on Table, New York
African Violet, Mayflower Hotel, New York
Cyclamen and Apple with Shadows, New York
Potted Violets, an Apple and a Card for Simon
John with Arm Raised
Marco Livingstone
Stephen Stuart-Smith
Karen Wright
Sarah Howgate
Paul Melia
George Lawson
Angus Stewart II

I used watercolor because I wanted a flow from my hand, partly because of what I had learned of the Chinese attitude to painting. They say you need three things for paintings: the hand, the eye, and the heart. Two won’t do. A good eye and heart is not enough; neither is a good hand and eye. I thought that was very, very good. So I took up watercolor, which I had not used much before.

Bonsai No. 1
Bonsai No. 2
Bonsai No. 3
Bonsai No. 4
Bonsai No. 5
Bonsai No. 6
Bonsai No. 7
Bonsai No. 8
Bonsai No. 9
Magnolia, Edwardes Square (3rd Version)
Kew Gardens
Study for Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom.
St. John's Spire and Tree

It’s the most direct method of laying in a mark .... Oil painting in a sense you have to push. Watercolor just flows .... The thing is it does take a while to master the techniques—having to work, say, from light to dark, because unlike with oils you won’t be able subsequently to daub a light color over a dark one. Everything has to be thought out in advance—and I realized it would take time to master all this. I had to ask myself, was I going to be willing to take six months to learn all this? Well I was, and I did, and it took even longer, mastering the medium, innovating new techniques, but by the end I’d broken into this looser, more immediate way.

The Maelstrom. Bodo, 2002

Norwegian fjords and Iceland

His avid production in this medium, at small scale or across several large sheets of paper, carries over into trips to the Norwegian fjords and Iceland, where Hockney is particularly enraptured by the light of the long days of late spring and summer.

To have longer periods of twilight (when color is not bleached but extremely rich) one has to go north. I made a trip to Norway in May, was very taken in with the dramatic landscape and returned to go much further north, when in June the sun never sets at all. You can see the landscape at all hours, 24 hours a day. There is no night. I found myself deeply attracted to it, and then went to Iceland twice to tour the island.

To have longer periods of twilight (when color is not bleached but extremely rich) one has to go north. I made a trip to Norway in May, was very taken in with the dramatic landscape and returned to go much further north, when in June the sun never sets at all. You can see the landscape at all hours, 24 hours a day. There is no night. I found myself deeply attracted to it, and then went to Iceland twice to tour the island.

Fjord. Kamoyvaer
Tufjorden and Midnight Sun
Tufjorden from near Nordkapp
Saltstraumen Maelstrom. Bodo I
Saltstraumen Maelstrom. Bodo II
Houses near Undredal
Balestrand with Red Dinghy
Balestrand. Sketch of Church and Pension
Balestrand. Road and Houses
Ann in Balestrand
Study for Kviknes Hotel. Balestrand.
Waterfall. Sojnefjord
Study of Aurlandsfjord
Stalheim
Mist. Stalheim
The Valley. Stalheim I
Study of Waterfall. Stalheim
Waterfall and Rainbow. Stalheim Valley
Havstua. Kamoyvaer.
Waterfall. Aurlandsfjord.
Mist. Stalheim. I
The Black Glacier
Godafoss. Iceland.

Lucian Freud and David Hockney

Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011) and Hockney, mutually esteemed peers as portrait painters despite their differences in style, agree to sit for one [NESTED]another. The fruitful exchange is mildly fraught for Hockney in terms of the time investment required for Freud to complete a painting.

Lucian Freud, 2002
Lucian Freud, 2002

I sat for 120 hours for Lucian; he would only sit for three hours for me. He wouldn’t co-operate, really, too restless. The difference between us is, Lucian is shy and I’m a chatterbox, except when I’m painting. I don’t let people talk when I paint. Well, I don’t mind people talking, but I don’t answer back because I’m tuned out. Lips moving are very hard to get. Actually, Lucian and I talked quite a lot when he was painting me. He let me smoke, too, but only if I didn’t tell Kate Moss, who was also sitting for him and who also smokes.

Lucian Looks Youthful Painting.
Lucian Freud Painting Me
Lucian Freud's Easel

At the Royal Academy with the Queen

Her Majesty the Queen and Hockney present an annual visual arts award to a student at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, while also celebrating the occasion of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year.

Couples

Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in London to paint a double portrait of his friends Sir George and Mary Christie, who organized[NESTED] the Glydenbourne Opera for decades, Hockney decides to capture the couple in watercolor, across four large sheets of paper. This instigates the production of more portraits of this type in the studio, and one double-portrait of a very different nature: a version of Masaccio’s early Renaissance fresco Expulsion from the Garden of Eden (1425), which shows Adam and Eve lamenting their newly realized nakedness. Religious subject matter is not typical for Hockney, and, indeed, it is Paradise as a setting that challenges him to depict the narrative.

George and Mary Christie, 2002
George and Mary Christie, 2002
Lucian Freud and David Dawson
Marco Livingstone and Stephen Stuart-Smith
Arcadia Fletcher and Robin Katz
Andrew Marr
Lindy Dufferin I

Two people have something and there is a story. It’s bound to happen. Each couple have some relationship, man and wife, brother and sister, gay lovers, two brothers. I mean any couple is interesting.

The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, 2002

The American painter Thomas Cole made a version of this subject in 1827, which I saw in the American Sublime show at the Tate Gallery. It was bombastic, even operatic, with the figures very small. What did the Garden of Eden look like? That seemed to me an interesting visual problem. The subject is, of course, the only real subject. Here Adam and Eve are leaving Paradise, where there is no perspective, no shadows, and no measurements.

The Garden of Eden, 2002

Exhibitions

Solo

  • Egyptian Journeys, Palace of the Arts, Cairo (Jan 16–Feb 16); catalogue with a text by Marco Livingstone.
  • Prints 1973–1998, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo (Feb 12–Mar 16).
  • Stage Works, Richard Gray Gallery, New York (Feb 19–Mar 30); travels to Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago (May 4–Jun 29).
  • Words and Pictures, Couvent des Cordeliers, Forcalquier (Jul 11–Aug 18); touring exhibition organized by the British Council, London; travels to Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome; Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá; Museo nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago; Benaki Museum, Athens; and many others (through 2017); catalogue David Hockney: Prints from the British Council Collection with a text by Richard Riley.

Group

  • Transition: The London Art Scene in the Fifties, Barbican Art Gallery, London (Jan 31–Apr 14); catalogue.
  • Head On: Art with the Brain in Mind, Science Museum, London (Mar 14–Jul 28); catalogue.
  • Das zweite Gesicht: Metamorphosen des fotografischen Porträts, Deutsches Museum, Munich (May 8–Aug 11); catalogue.
  • Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (Jun 7–Aug 19).
  • Blast to Freeze: Britische Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (Sep 14, 2002–Jan 19, 2003); travels to Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (Feb 24–May 11, 2003); catalogue.
  • Portrait of the Art World: A Century of ARTnews Photographs, New York Historical Society, New York (Sep 27, 2002–Jan 5, 2003); organized by Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery; travels to Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. (Feb 7–Apr 6, 2003), Elmhurst Art Museum, IL (May 2–Jul 29, 2003), and Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe (Sep 19, 2003–Jan 4, 2004); catalogue.
  • British Artists–Works on Paper 1956-1971: Modern Art Collection of José de Azeredo Perdigão/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Casa de Cerca, Centro de Arte Contemporânea, Almada, Portugal (Sep 28–Dec 15).
  • The Art of Collaboration: The Big Americans, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (Oct 4, 2002–Jan 27, 2003); catalogue.
  • André Emmerich: A Documentary Portrait, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, New York (Oct 10, 2002–Jan 10, 2003).