Paper collage, pens, paint, iPad, photography …. there is no medium that David Hockney has not experimented with and excelled at. The show of at the National Portrait Gallery in London shows the brilliance and versatility of the UK’s greatest (living) artist and shows the evolution of his style and fascination with all kinds of media, used with impressive effect.

Wow!  I absolutely loved this show.  Yes, portraits are my thing and Hockney is my hero so it’s not surprising that I was blown away by the scale of this show and the wonderful variety of work on show.

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The first image you encounter at the show is a charming self-portrait made from paper collage in 1954.  It’s done with such confidence, delight in the use of torn paper and captures the youthful David Hockney at the start of an illustrious career as an artist.

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What I admire about Hockney is that he’s never stopped pushing his art. OK, it won’t all work and some styles and media might have had variable results but the important thing is that he gives everything a go.  And I loved seeing that progression.

 

Portraits are so very personal and Hockney has consistently created portraits of a small group of friends.  As a result we have a delightful ‘album’ of images which show the ageing process with so much affection for the subjects.

 

 

There are many images of his mother which evoke the strength of their relationship and the tenderness of observation as this much loved woman ages.

 

We also have a chance to see the drawing process in action with recordings of portraits made on iPads. We had a glimpse of Picasso’s process at the major show over at the Royal Academy and it’s just as fascinating with this, seeing the way the hand shifts and flickers across the screen doodling, colouring, adapting and evolving the portrait.

One visit was not enough. I must go back before the show ends and revisit all those portraits for a further, deeper view.

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