As Hockney turns 80, his iconic works have been celebrated around the world. Now, it’s New York’s turn to display and discuss his well known masterpieces, his lesser known earlier (and more controversial) creations, and a painting which he basically finished yesterday.
The eight rooms piece together different periods of his life. If you thought you knew Hockney, you’ll soon realize there’s so much more to his artistic career than the stark, bright colors, clean lines, and splashes in swimming pools, for which he’s come to be known and loved.
As you journey through the sixty years of Hockney’s painting career you travel with him from his early years in London, filled with controversial homoerotic pieces, to LA, where he combines sunshine-filled colors with a hopeless feeling of emptiness. Photo collages (don’t miss the one of his mother at overcast Bolton Abbey), honest portraits of friends and family (one commissioned and then rejected for its brutal honesty), and elegant sketches gradually lead you to surreally bright depictions of southern California and an overly verdant, totally beautiful (and homesick-inducing) Yorkshire.
Whether you’re a Hockney-lover or not, this retrospective sheds a new light on this endlessly famous, influential artist. As his life is elegantly pieced together, so you will inevitably leave with a better understanding and appreciation of this man’s opinions, beliefs, and talents.
Until February 25th. The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10028