The upcoming David Hockney: Drawings From Life will be the the first major show devoted to the British artist’s drawings in over 20 years.

The exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery will focus on Hockney’s depictions of himself and his favourite sitters – including his mother Laura Hockney, his muse Celia Birtwell, and his friends Gregory Evans and Maurice Payne.

Curated by Sarah Howgate, it features about 150 artworks that highlight how drawing has been fundamental to Hockney’s work.

The exhibition (Feb 27 to June 28, 2020) traces the trajectory of his practice by showing how he revisited his favourite subjects over his career.

Visitors will be able to admire a series of intimate portraits created with both traditional and non-traditional drawing equipment such as coloured pencil, pen, and apps found on the iPhone and iPad.

In the 1980s, Hockney even made several portraits using a Polaroid camera – which he described as Cubist depictions of form that paid homage to Picasso.


Hockney’s Self Portrait, March 14, 2012 (iPad drawing printed on paper).

“By focusing 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,” said National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan in a statement.

Highlights of the exhibition include a selection of drawings from a two-month period in the 1980s, when Hockney was creating a self-portrait every day, and sketchbooks from his art school days in Bradford in the 1950s.

Previously unseen early works will also be on view, including working drawings for a pivotal series of etchings, A Rake’s Progress, which Hockney made in the early 1960s after his first visit to the US.

This is the second time that the National Portrait Gallery has hosted a Hockney retrospective, following a critically acclaimed show of portraits in 2006. – AFP Relaxnews