Born in Bradford, David Hockney went on to study at the Royal College of Art, London. There he featured in the exhibition Young Contemporaries alongside Peter Blake, an show that has been described as announcing the arrival of British Pop Art. In a career spanning nearly seventy years, Hockney has explored painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and stage-design, to name but a few, and is today considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.
In 1964, Hockney moved to Los Angeles and was inspired to paint a series of brightly rendered swimming pools. Today, these paintings are amongst the most desirable and sought-after works from within his oeuvre. Since, Hockney has explored numerous topics from portraits of friends, lovers and relatives, to fairy-tales and seasonal depictions of his childhood surrounds in Yorkshire. Hockney’s irrepressible panache for experimentation has seen him continually explore the potential of new media, most famously in his series of iPad and iPhone drawings from the 2000s.
Hockney’s notable exhibitions include those held at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, and Royal Academy, London, in 2012. More recently, he was subject of an international retrospective at Tate Britain in 2017, which later travelled to Paris and New York, and a major exhibition of his portraiture, held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2020. In November 2018, Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) broke the record for most expensive painting by a living artist sold at auction, when it hammered down at $90 million at Christie’s New York.