Hockney, David

Hockney, David Biography

English painter known for his satirical paintings and his penetrating portraits of contemporary personalities whose works are characterized by economy of technique, a preoccupation with light, and a frank, mundane realism derived from Pop art and photography.

He studied at the Bradford College of Art (1953-57) and the Royal College of Art, London (1959-62), where he received a gold medal in the graduate competition. He visited the United States in 1961 and returned in 1964-67 to teach at the universities of Iowa, Colorado, and California, and thereafter commuted between England and the United States until settling permanently in Los Angeles in 1978.

His works from the 1960s-such as his series featuring Los Angeles swimming pools and their denizens-are painted in a bright and deliberately naive style, and their subject matter is drawn from popular culture. A Bigger Splash (1967, Tate Gallery, London) is one of his best-known paintings. Hockney's wryness and wit together with his talent for strong composition and design led him, at the end of the 1960s, to a more naturalistic manner, particularly in his portraits. In 1992 he began a series entitled Very New Paintings, in which he uses intense colors and dramatic perspectives to give almost abstract form to the mountain and coastal landscapes near Santa Monica, California, where he has lived since the mid-1960s.

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