A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney by Martin Gayford

By Martin Gayford

“Sumptuously illustrated, this radiant quantity encapsulates what it really ability to be a visible artist.” ―Booklist

David Hockney’s exuberant paintings is extremely praised and broadly celebrated―he may be the world’s preferred dwelling painter. yet he's additionally anything else: an incisive and unique philosopher on art.

This new version features a revised creation and 5 new chapters which disguise Hockney’s creation on the grounds that 2011, together with arrangements for the larger photo exhibition held on the Royal Academy in 2012 and the making of Hockney’s iPad drawings and plans for the exhibit. a tough interval the exhibition’s large luck, marked first by means of a stroke, which left Hockney not able to talk for a protracted interval, by means of the vandalism of the artist’s Totem tree-trunk, and the tragic suicide of his assistant presently thereafter. Escaping the gloom, in spring 2013 Hockney moved again to L.A. a number of months later, Martin Gayford visited Hockney within the L.A. studio, the place the fully-recovered artist used to be difficult at paintings on his Comédie humaine, a sequence of full-length pix painted within the studio.

The conversations among Hockney and Gayford are punctuated by way of brilliant and revealing observations on different artists―Van Gogh, Vermeer, and Picasso between them―and enlivened via smart insights into the contrasting social and actual landscapes of Yorkshire, Hockney’s birthplace, and California. 181 illustrations, 154 in colour

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Additional resources for A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney

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An English art star was a relatively dim figure in the proximity of so many movie stars. But in the late 1990s, he began to spend less time in California. Slowly, he became more visible in London. The reasons were partly personal. ‘One reason I left LA was that a very, very close friend of mine died, meaning someone I saw every day. When he died, I felt the loss greatly. ’ Intuitively, Hockney was no doubt searching once more for something new, a new place, a new way of working. In 2003, he exhibited a series of watercolour portraits, many of English friends, a somewhat challenging project, since that medium – which becomes muddy and opaque if the artist applies more than two or three layers of washes – makes the kind of observation and revision that is normal in portraiture very difficult.

We had just an hour and a half of art classes a week in the first year; after that you went in for either classics or science or modern languages and you did not study art. I thought that was terrible. You could study art only if you were in the bottom form and did a general course. ’ Hockney’s readiness to ignore the academic expectations of Bradford Grammar School was characteristic. He continues to be a person who thinks every question through in his own way, draws his own conclusions, and ignores conventional opinions.

His art was based, from the beginning, on a fundamental technical ability: Hockney was and has always been a remarkable draughtsman. In 1994, before I had actually met Hockney himself, his contemporary at the Royal College of Art and lifelong friend, R. B. Kitaj – now dead – told me an anecdote when we sat in his house in Chelsea: Hockney and I arrived at the Royal College of Art on the same day with about eighteen other kids. He made that drawing of a skeleton hanging on the wall over there. I thought it was the most skilful, most beautiful drawing I’d ever seen.

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