NEWS: National Portrait Gallery to Stage Exhibition of David Hockney’s Drawings

The exhibition will feature new and previously unseen works by the artist – including studies for A Rake’s Progress.

David Hockney Self Portrait, March 14 2012, iPad drawing printed on paper © David Hockney

On display from the 27th February 2020, David Hockney: Drawing from Life will be the first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years.

Exploring Hockney’s years as  draughtsman from the 1950s to now the display will be focusing on his depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him: his muse, Celia Birtwell; his mother, Laura Hockney; and friends, the curator, Gregory Evans, and master printer, Maurice Payne.

As part of the exhibition, the display will include new portraits of some of the sitters and previously unseen early works, including working drawings for his pivotal A Rake’s Progress etching suite (1961-63), inspired by the identically named series of prints by William Hogarth (1697-64), and sketchbooks from Hockney’s art school days in Bradford in the 1950s. 

David Hockney: Drawing From Life will bring together 150 works from public and private collections across the world, as well as from the David Hockney Foundation and the artist, the exhibition will trace the trajectory of his practice by revisiting these five subjects over a period of five decades. The intimate portraits are rendered in pencil, pastel, ink and watercolour, using both traditional and non-traditional drawing equipment including coloured pencil, pen, the Polaroid camera and apps found on the iPhone and iPad.

Highlights of the exhibition are set to include a series of new portraits; coloured pencil drawings created in Paris in the early 1970s; composite Polaroid portraits from the 1980s; and a selection of drawings from an intense period of self-scrutiny during the 1980s when the artist created a self-portrait every day over a period of two months.

Talking about the news, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London said: “We are delighted to announce this major new exhibition of drawings by one of the most internationally respected and renowned artists alive today. By focussing on Hockney as a supreme draughtsman and his intimate and revealing sustained depictions of sitters over time (including himself) the exhibition will demonstrate his constant and continuing ingenuity with portrait drawings which reference both tradition and technology – from Ingres to the IPad.”

David Hockney: Drawing from Life will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery from the 27th February until the 28th June 2020.

%d bloggers like this: