Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DAVID HOCKNEY: 82 PORTRAITS and 1 STILL LIFE at LACMA

David Hockney Portrait Exhibit at LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
"I think I've found something that I could go on with forever, because people are fascinating, they're mysterious really." David Hockney
Entrance to the exhibit with photo of Hockney at work in his studio
If you haven't seen the David Hockney show at LACMA, 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life, I highly recommend it. I went to see it on Sunday. At age 80, David Hockney is still going strong. The portraits are stunning and the red walls of the gallery are a perfect foil for the green and blue background of the paintings.
Julie Green
As I walked around I noticed a woman leading a tour. Then I looked at her dress and realized she was Julie Green, one of the people in the portraits!
Architect Frank Gehry
There are portraits of his studio assistants, massage therapist, housekeeper and cook. Others depict Hockney’s siblings, the children and grandchildren of his friends, and art dealers and prominent cultural figures in Los Angeles. All of the paintings are labeled with the sitter's name and dates of sitting.
Organized by the Royal Academy in conjunction with LACMA, the exhibition opened in London in 2016, then traveled to Venice, Italy; Bilboa, Spain; and Melbourne, Australia. The only U.S. stop is L.A., the city where the portraits were painted and where most of his subjects live.
The 83 paintings line the walls of two large galleries in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum
The series began in 2013 after David Hockney moved to Los Angeles from his home and studio in rural England.
Each person came to Hockney’s studio for two or three days and sat in the same chair on a small platform while Hockney painted. All of the figures are full length and the canvas size is the same for each portrait. The backgrounds are simple–flat color and just a suggestion of shadow on the floor. What comes across in each painting is the distinct personality of the sitter.
The one still life was painted on a day when one of his subjects had to postpone her session. So Hockney set up a bench with pieces of fruit in the same spot in his studio and painted it instead.   

If you haven’t seen this spectacular exhibit you need to go soon. It ends July 29, 2018.


David Hockney: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life
April 15, 2018–July 29, 2018


Review in the LA Times by Barbara Isenberg

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