david hockney RA
(b.1937)

Born in Bradford, but having spent much of his career in California, Hockney is perhaps our most famous living artist. Trained at the RCA where he was in a group that included Boshier, Phillips, Cauldfield and Kitjai, he made a name for himself very early on with paintings such as We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961) - based on a poem by Walt Whitman. He had his first one man show in 1963 and in 1967 won first prize in the prestigious John Moores Exhibition. At the same time he was producing some daring graphic work - none more so than his etchings illustrating the poems of the gay Greek poet Cavafy. In America he pursued his interest inhomoerotic art with his paintings of swimming pools, men showering and bathing, and in the process created what have become iconic shorthand images of the representation of water.

Hockney has a protean artistic nature and has produced a huge range of work from exquisite pen and ink portraits, to his swimming pool series such as a Bigger Splash (1967), to landscapes, dog portaits, experiments with photographic collages, as well as stage designs. He's also been willing to experiment with different media such as fax machines, ipads, and polaroid photographs.

Tate Britain announces major David Hockney retrospective in Feb 2017