Working en plein air
Early in the year, at a John Constable retrospective at Tate Britain, Hockney is impressed by the scale of the British master’s oil sketches. Upon returning to Bridlington, he explores painting the East Yorkshire landscape en plein air in oil. Having done many single canvas works, he turns his attention to a more expansive scale, which he achieves by combining canvases to depict a single scene across a grid of two, four, or six canvases.
At first we had to go out with several cars so that returning we could lay out the wet canvases on the back seats without smudging them. Eventually we built a sort of rack in the back of the truck with six shelves, so we could transport all six canvases at once, even if all of them were wet. It’s like I always say: You’ve got to really prepare if you’re going to try to be spontaneous.
At Annely Juda in London in September, he exhibits his East Yorkshire landscapes, from the single-canvas sketches to the large-scaled assemblages. “Annely Juda’s show of the new landscapes indicates that, if anything, David Hockney is having yet another flowering. In a long career, he has frequently seemed to have reached a peak, only to dart off at a tangent and, in another style, another medium, surpass himself. His most recent work shows a serene, soaring mastery,” writes Sarah Howgate in the Times.
A major portrait exhibition starts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and travels to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the National Portrait Gallery in London before year’s end. An overview of Hockney’s career that chronicles his public and intimate relationships in more than 250 works, it testifies to his stylistic inventiveness over the five decades.
- Portraits, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Feb 26–May 14); travels to Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Jun 11–Sep 4) and National Portrait Gallery, London (Oct 12, 2006–Jan 21, 2007); catalogue with texts by Mark Glazebrook, Sarah Howgate, Marco Livingstone, Barbara Stern Shapiro, and Edmund White, New Haven: Yale University Press.
- A Rake’s Progress, Rex Irwin Gallery, Woollahra, Australia (Feb 28–Mar 18); catalogue.
- New Ways of Seeing: Malerei, Zeichnung, Druckgraphik, Photographie, Design, Gustav-Lübcke-Museum, Hamm (Apr 2–Jul 2); catalogue with text by Burkhard Richter.
- Sitting Still—and Still Life, Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles (Jul 15–Aug 14).
- David Hockney:From Bradford to Hollywood & Back Again, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford (Jul 29–Nov 5).
- A Year in Yorkshire, Annely Juda Fine Art, London (Sep 15–Oct 28); catalog with a text by David Hockney.
- David Hockney: Prints, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (Nov 18–Dec 17).
- Morandi’s Legacy: Influences on British Art, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, U.K. (Jan 12–Mar 25).
- Los Angeles 1955–1985: Naissance d’une capitale artistique, Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (Mar 8–Jul 17); catalogue.
- Drawing Inspiration: Contemporary British Drawing, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, U.K. (Apr 4–Jul 1).
- Hogarth, Hockney and Stravinsky: A Rake’s Progress, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (May 16–Jul 23); catalogue.
- Eros in der Kunst der Moderne, Fondation Beyeler, Basel (Oct 8, 2006–Feb 18, 2007); travels to BA-CA Kunstforum, Vienna (Mar 1–Jul 22); catalogue.
- Yosemite: Art of an American Icon, Part II, Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles (Nov 10, 2006–Apr 22, 2007).