We take a look at what is being said about this latest exhibition concentrating on the work of the artist.
The Guardian: ***** “Are these portraits as complex, precise and replete as Hockney’s early works? Of course not – no more than most of the songs on the new Rolling Stones album are as great as the band at their best. But just as the Stones win your heart with their determination to rock loudly against the dying of the light, Hockney’s new portraits are deeply moving. Here is an artist simply, even naively, doing what he has always done, with stripped-back gusto, capturing what matters. Everyone has come together at Hockney’s place, the pandemic over, to celebrate being alive.”
My Art Broker.com: “Now at the age of 86, Hockney continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the arena of Contemporary Art, and these final portraits are a hopeful signal that this portfolio is unlikely to be his last.”
Evening Standard: “Hockney is at his best when in front of his sitter, with the simplest, time-honoured tools, expertly coordinating his hand and his eye. Few artists in his lifetime can match him on this territory.”
iNews: *** “The Evans gallery shows the greatest swoops of change, in both Hockney’s style and in the relationship between the two sitters over five decades. It is magnificent – a tribute to human changeability, its complex variation posing a ripe antidote to the idea that a human might possess a lone, iconic kind of likeness. We are a thing in motion, in constant change.”
The Upcoming: **** “Hockney is at his strongest with his simplest portraits, made with coloured pencil on paper or watercolour. His 1970s portraits featuring Evans radiate a natural charm and tenderness, speaking through subtle hues and a few thoughtful lines. The watercolour sketch Gregory Reading, Vestrefjord delicately outlines the figure, while a drawing from 1977 captures Evans’s face with striking realism, allowing the rest of the image to fade away.”
Time Out: *** “But the real issue is that the exhibition’s just a bit of a mess. It can’t figure out if it’s a show of his works on paper (in which case why include his photo collages, or his iPad images?), or a show of his portraiture (in which case why include his ‘Rake’s Progress’ series?). And more than anything, it’s the umpteenth major Hockney show we’ve had in London in the past few years, and this one adds very little to the Tate and the RA’s looks at the artist. We just don’t need this show.”
The Telegraph: **** “David Hockney: Drawing from Life begins with a painting not a drawing – a scene-setter, establishing the exhibition’s theme. It feels familiar: isn’t that the picture of his parents from the Tate? But no: this is an earlier, unfinished version, long thought destroyed, which Hockney discovered, still bearing traces of masking tape, while rootling around his LA studio for this show…”
The exhibition is on display until the 21st January 2024.