David Hockney (b. 1937) is widely considered to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as an important contributor to British Pop art. Working in a variety of media as a painter, draftsman, and stage set designer, Hockney is a prolific and experimental printmaker, who started producing prints early in his career, working mainly in etching and lithography. The most recognizable Hockney themes include portraits of family, friends, and lovers; photocollages and photomontages he called “joiners” from the 1980s; homosexual imagery; and Los Angeles-inspired scenes.
Born in Bradford, UK, he studied at the Royal College of Art in London, and while still a student was asked to participate in the Young Contemporaries exhibition that marked the arrival of British Pop art. His works displayed expressionist elements, literary references, and the strong influence of Picasso.
Throughout the sixties he was represented by the influential art dealer John Kasmin, and later that decade moved to Los Angeles, CA where he would paint his famous swimming pool paintings. In addition to painting, Hockney made numerous prints, drawings, unique photo collages, and designed sets for the Royal Court Theater, La Scala, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In 2006, Hockney’s portraits were the subject of major exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Prior retrospective exhibitions had been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. In 2005, Mary Ryan Gallery held a survey of Hockney’s Pools, created between 1978 and 1980.