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Walker Art Center Announces David Hockney Exhibition

Mpls St. Paul Magazine:
David Hockney, Gregory in the Pool (Paper Pool 4), 1978, courtesy of the Walker Art Center.
David Hockney, Gregory in the Pool (Paper Pool 4), 1978, courtesy of the Walker Art Center.

Still thinking of summer? Then know that the Walker Art Center’s upcoming exhibition on the singular artist David Hockney, with his disposition toward West Coast scenes of pools and landscapes, is coming this December to bring a reprieve from Minnesota winter.

The influential British artist, born in the UK in 1937, became central to the Los Angeles art scene when he moved there in 1964. At the time, during his Pop era, he became known for his bright paintings of portraits and landscapes in eye-popping color, incubating the ideas he’d revisit throughout his six decade career and counting.

Now 84 years old, Hockney's work spans painting and printmaking to theater set design and even digital media, with his signature iPad drawings he’s been creating in later years of life. In 2018 he broke the record for the most expensive artwork by a living artist sold at auction at the time, when his 1972 painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” sold for $90 million.

Curated by senior curator and director Siri Engberg, “People, Places, & Things,” will feature portraits of Hockney’s friends and family, still life paintings and simple domestic scenes (including the Southern California swimming pool, a recurring theme that Hockney has explored in a variety of works during his career), according to a press release.

It’s a return of sorts—the 1983 Walker exhibition “Hockney Paints the Stage” focused on his set designs for stage and opera productions, including Poulenc’s opera Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tirésias). Another collection of his work will highlight his eye for scenery, including his takes on the Hollywood Hills, Mexico, and Yorkshire, England, with large-scale prints from his travels. Expect to see how Hockney has reinvented his art throughout the decades with his constantly shifting experiments of his subject matter.