Course overview

David Hockney is acclaimed internationally as a great artist. Born in Bradford in July 1937, he showed artistic talent from a young age and has used many different approaches to explore portraiture, still life, opera sets, and landscapes. In three sessions, we will learn about his early influences and the way he has used various techniques to explore subjects. Special emphasis will be placed on Hockney’s attitude to nature, how it is portrayed, and the way in which the natural world is important to him.

Course description

Our guest speaker, Roger Wotton, will begin by looking at several works that we all recognise as being by David Hockney and consider the way in which they were painted and the choice of subject matter. This will lead us to a description of his early years and his upbringing as a member of an intriguing family. David Hockney’s passionate interest in becoming an artist was nurtured by his time at the Bradford School of Art and later at the Royal College of Art in London, where he first became recognised by the wider art world. During his student days, he discovered the pleasures of a bohemian lifestyle that he certainly enjoyed after moving to Los Angeles, mixing with many other celebrities. Becoming famous – and thus able to sell works at high prices – gave Hockney the freedom to explore a wide variety of subjects and different ways of conveying what he saw, culminating in his recent work on the Yorkshire Wolds. He is fascinated by the way landscape changes through the seasons, and over longer time scales, and his way of seeing throws light on the nature of the natural world.

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