Monday, December 11, 2017


David Hockney, Pool with Two Figures
A splashy new exhibit of American artist, David Hockney's California sojourn warms the heart on even the coldest days.  No bathing suit required, but inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can vicariously jump into the pool surrounded by the the blazing sun-drenched colors of a never ending Los Angeles summer. Hockey's majestic larger-than-life paintings, invite you to join the swimmers and voyeurs on a halcyon day of dazzling sun-lit colors. California was his muse and helped to make him a famous swimming pool artist, but Hockney's oeuvre was more complex, more diversified, more intriguing. These paintings are not the entire focus of the exhibit, but they do provide insight into Hockney's willingness to flaunt conventions and to brazenly reference homoerotic subject matter.  Pool with Two Figures, one person gazes at a figure floating underneath the water.
       Many fine examples of Hockney's work from Los Angeles, California in he late 1960s and early 1970s as well as his double portraits from New York and London, show the artist's interest in the tension that exists in social relationships and the difficulty of depicting transparent material such as glass and water.   

David Hockney, GARDEN, 2015, 48 x 72 inches

 For nearly 60 years, David Hockney (British, born 1937) has pursued a singular career with a love for painting and its intrinsic challenges.  A major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the shows only North American venue, through February 25, 2018, honors the artist in the year of his 80th birthday by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present. GARDEN, 2015, for example, draws you across a garden on a magical red pathway to Blue happiness. 
     The exhibition, DAVID HOCKNEY, takes time to savor as it offers a grand overview of the artist's achievements across all media, including painting and drawing, photography, and video. Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney, has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. From his early engagement with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual vigor and sheer delight in the act of looking. For example, the painting, Garden with Blue Terrace, defies the laws of perspective by seeming to advance and recede at the same time.
David Hockney, Garden with Blue Terrace, 2015
By the late 1970s and 1980s, Hockney turned to a brightly hued palette and fractured, cubistic perspective that mirrors both is interest in Pablo Picasso and his own experiments with Polaroid photography. In recent decades Hockney has ventured outdoors to paint the changeable landscapes of his native Yorkshire across the seasons, while simultaneously returning to the study of figures in social groupings. A modernist seeker, keenly interested in scientific innovations in the aid of art, Hockney recently experimented with an old technology: he created a series of portrait drawings using a camera Lucida, first employed by artists in the Renaissance to render one-point perspective. He has always embraced new technologies, including the possibilities for colorful composition offered by applications on the iPhone and iPad. Examples of the artist's experiments in that media are also included in the galleries.

      Related Programs: On Monday February 5 acclaimed stage and screen actors Alan Cumming and Simon Callow will perform a dramatic reading in The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy. Inspired by Hockney's 1968 portrait of the pair, the actors will recreate the painting and bring an extraordinary relationship to life. Tickets for this program as well as others scheduled are available on the website.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  I'm feeling ever so much better drenched in Hockney's brilliant colors of a never-ending summer day. You should, too. Fan mail welcome, Visit Polly's Blogs at and in the left-hand column click on the direct links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.

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