Biography/Timeline for David Hockney


David Hockney is born in Bradford on 9th July. Raised at 61 Steadman Terrace, Bradford, he has four siblings, a sister and three brothers.


Gaining a scholarship, David Hockney starts at Bradford Grammar School. In his first year, aged 11, David Hockney adamant he wants to be an artist.


David Hockney Studies at Bradford School of Art, specializing in painting and lithography, he graduates with distinction.


David Hockney sells his first painting, exhibiting at the biennial Yorkshire Artist Exhibition ‘Portrait of my Father’ is snapped up for the princely sum of 10 pounds.


As a conscientious objector (due to what the British army are doing in Cypress at this time) David Hockney works as a medical orderly in a Bradford and a Hastings Hospital, as an alternative to National Service.


David Hockney studies at the Royal College of Art, under the tutelage of such eminent artists as Jackson Pollock, R.B. Kitaj and Sandra Blow; David Hockney begins to work on loose, expressive images, peppered with modernist references.


Whilst still studying at the RCA, David Hockney’s works - alongside Peter Blake’s, are featured in the exhibition ‘Young Contemporaries’ this heralding them ‘the bright new stars of British Pop Art’.


David Hockney visits New York for the first time. Inspired by this visit he makes a series of etchings ‘A Rakes Progress’. David Hockney wins Guinness award for etching.


Graduates a gold medal winner from the RCA. Travels to Berlin. Teachers at Maidstone College of Art.


David Hockney Continues his travels, taking in the sights of Egypt and then on to New York, where he meets Andy Warhol. A short flight to his final destination Los Angeles results in the creation of David Hockney’s first Shower paintings. David Hockney wins graphics prize at Paris Biennale. David Hockney is given his first solo exhibition at the Kasmin Gallery, London.


David Hockney moves to Los Angeles. Executes his first Swimming Pool paintings and starts exploring other mediums such as; acrylic paints and photography. He spends the summer teaching at the University of Iowa, meets the fashion designer Celia Birtwell and is introduced to the master printmaker Ken Tyler. David Hockney forges his fist solo show in New York at the Alan Gallery.


David Hockney continues to impart his knowledge to eager students, teaching at the University of Colorado. With accelerating international acclaim David Hockney’s solo shows are viewed in Amsterdam and Paris.


David Hockney meets and falls in love with fellow artist Peter Schlesinger; the relationship proves a major inspiration, with Hockney depicting his lover in countless images. David Hockney embarks on designing the set and costumes for ‘Ubu Roi’ at the Royal Court Theatre. This same year Hockney produces the color lithograph series of prints ‘A Hollywood Collection in California’ and the set of etching print illustrations for the ‘Fourteen Poems from CP Cavafy’.


David Hockney continues teaching, this time in LA at the University of California. And finds time to travel to Italy, France and the rugged coast of Cornwall.


David Hockney visits France and Italy again and paints arguably his most famous painting ‘A Bigger Splash’. It is the embodiment of the decadent Californian lifestyle that so many were chasing at this time. David Hockney wins first prize in the John Moore’s Liverpool Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. The painting is ‘Peter Getting out of Nicks Pool’. David Hockney spends the prize money on a holiday for his parents.


David Hockney has a Solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Photographic studies become a dominate part of his painting process. David decides to move back to London. David Hockney’s works are exhibited in shows around the world; including the Venice Biennale, Hamburg, Zambia, Florence, Kassel, London, Washington, Paris, Chicago, Berlin, Manchester, Nottingham and Stockholm.


David Hockney makes a series of etching prints ‘Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm’. David Hockney’s works are exhibited in shows in Belfast, Helsinki, Vienna, London, Paris and Germany. Solo exhibition in New York.


First major retrospective of David Hockney’s works, held at The Whitechapel Gallery, London. The exhibition travels on to Hanover, Rotterdam and Belgrade. David Hockney’s hearing begins to deteriorate.


David Hockney travels extensively to Japan, Morocco, USA, Europe, South East Asia. He makes the film ‘David Hockney’s Dairies’. David Hockney finishes the iconic painting ‘Mr and Mrs Clarke and Percy’. Splits from boyfriend Peter Schlesinger.


David Hockney moves to Paris. His focus of interest shifts from painting to drawing and print-making. The lithograph print series ‘The Weather Series’ is published.


David Hockney creates the set and costume designs for ‘The Rakes Progress’ to be held at Glyndebourne. David Hockney exhibits the drawings he has been working on at the Claude Bernard Gallery in Paris and the Louvre holds a retrospective of his work. Solo show held in London. The documentary ‘The Big Splash’ directed by Jack Hazan makes its debut.


David Hockney takes a trip to Fire Island (just outside NYC) and inspired by Wallace Steven’s poems begins drawings for ‘The Blue Guitar’ series of etchings.


David Hockney takes trips to Australia and the South Sea Islands. David Hockney starts working extensively with photography. Solo shows include the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, LA.


The Blue Guitar’ series of etchings is published. David Hockney returns to California for a short while. Returns to London to Pembroke studios, builds a new studio above his old apartment in Powis Terrace and finishes painting of his new lover Gregory Evans ‘Model with Unfinished Self-Portrait’. However, finding it difficult to settle David Hockney escapes to New York to work on the designs for ‘The Magic Flute’ Opera.


After finishing the designs for Glyndebourne, David Hockney travels to Egypt. On his return to England and after the opening of ‘The Magic Flute’ in the summer, David Hockney decides to move back to California. On his way over to his new permanent place of residence, David Hockney stops off in upstate NY to visit Ken Tyler and makes lithographs and the bold and colorful handmade paper pulp series ‘Paper pools’. The exhibition of David Hockney’s drawings and prints ‘Travels with Pen, Pencil and Ink’ begins its extensive three year tour of USA, Canada and Britain. Solo Exhibitions this year include LA Louver Gallery, California.


David Hockney continues his interest in set designing by creating the stage and costume designs for the Metropolitan Opera’s triple bill; ‘Parade, Les Mamelles De Tiresias and LEnfant et les Sortileges’. Inspired by the Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art David Hockney creates the sets for the Covent Garden performance of ‘Parade’ back in London at the Pembroke Studios. Come autumn, from his home in the Hollywood hills David Hockney paints ‘Nicholas Canyon’ and ‘Mulholland Drive; The Road to the Studio’.


David Hockney designs sets and costumes for Le Sacre du Printemps, Le Rossignol, Oedipus Rex and Paid on Both Sides for Metropolitan Opera, New York. He travels to China with Stephen Spender and Gregory Evans to do a collaborative book ‘China Diary’. David Hockney’s new works are included in ‘A New Spirit of Painting’ at the Royal Academy of Arts. He does ‘The Artists Eye’ show for the National Gallery.


David Hockney makes composite Polaroid’s and photographic collages which are shown in ‘Drawings with a Camera’ in New York and extensively throughout the world, including the Pompidou Centre, Paris.


David Hockney visits Japan with Gregory to talk about using paper as a medium at a paper conference. On his return he creates ‘Walking in a Zen Garden at the Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto’. David Hockney designs sets for the Ballet, ‘Varii Capricci’. ‘And Hockney Paints the Stage’ is shown at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and then tours elsewhere in North America, Mexico and London; where it is shown at the Hayward Gallery in 1985. David Hockney has his first solo show in Tokyo. With the realization of getting older, David Hockney studies himself closely in a series of ‘Self-Portrait’ drawings.


David Hockney’s book ‘Camaraworks’ is published.David Hockney accompanies his ‘And Hockney Paints the Stage’ Exhibition to Mexico; deeply enriched by the experience, on his return David Hockney paints ’A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Actalan’ and other paintings. David Hockney makes a set of prints to accompany these paintings called ‘Moving Focus’. These are multi-colored lithograph prints made at Tyler Graphics.


David Hockney designs the cover and a forty page spread in French Vogue for their December issue.


David Hockney makes ‘Home Made Prints’ on office copy machines in his LA studio. David Hockney designs and publishes catalogue of‘Home Made Prints’ to accompany his Gallery exhibitions. David Hockney finishes his iconic photo collage piece of art work ‘Pearblossom’.


David Hockney designs the set and costumes for ‘Tristan and Isolda’ Opera at the LA Music Center.


David Hockney makes a controversial film rebuffing the text books theories on abstraction and representation. David Hockney writes, directs and stars in the film ‘Surface is Illusion but so is Depth’.


David Hockney’s great Retrospective shows begin. Firstly in LA, followed by New York and London. At the Tate Gallery in London works include David Hockney’s brand new paintings ‘Large Interior’ and ‘My Mother Bridlington’. David Hockney moves down to Malibu. Being the centenary year of Van Gogh’s arrival in Arles, David Hockney is asked to paint a Homage to Van Gogh, the result; ‘Van Gogh Chair’. David Hockney begins experimenting with the fax machine.


Ensconced in his little studio in Malibu, with views of the ocean, David Hockney begins to paint furiously, executing portrait after portrait of his friends and family. Never one to shy away from new mediums, David Hockney takes these portraits and using a recently purchased laser photocopier begins making prints.


Expanding deeper into creating highly sophisticated images using the fax machine and black and white laser photocopier, David Hockney produces ground breaking prints that are exhibited at the Biennale San Paulo. All the works are sent down the fax line!


David Hockney works on a new set of six prints ‘Some New Prints’ at Tyler Graphics. He begins painting multiple views of the Santa Monica mountains. Following a visit to a conference in Silicon Valley, David Hockney starts experimenting with a still video camera, taking full length portraits of family and friends, which results in such works as; ‘112 LA Visitors’. Just using a ‘point and shoot’ camera on holiday, David Hockney creates the breathtakingly beautiful pieces including; ‘Spectators in Alaska’. David Hockney begins to design sets and costumes for Puccinis ‘Turandot’. An exhibition of David Hockney’s paintings influenced by his fax drawings is held in New York.


David Hockney creates images on an Apple Mac II FX computer using Oasis software. David Hockney finishes his stage sets for ‘Turandot’ and begins work on ‘Die Frau Ohne Schatten’ for the Royal Opera House. The poster for ‘Turandot’ is done entirely on the computer. David with his friends Richard Schmidt, Bing McGilvray and John Herbert take a two week road trip in an RV from LA to Chicago and back. On the road, David Hockney creates ‘Monument Valley; the storm breaking as the sun rose’. Inspired by the trip, on his return, David Hockney starts painting intensively.


David Hockney finishes designs for ‘Die Frau Ohne Schatten’ and travels to London to supervise construction of the stage sets. Paintings inspired by David Hockney’s road trip are shown in Chicago at Richard Gray Gallery. In May, David Hockney retreats to Malibu to paint alone. David Hockney shows ‘Where Now?’ in an exhibition at the Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo but doesn’t want to sell the painting as it is his seminal piece for ‘Some Very New Paintings’.


David Hockney creates twelve “narrative abstraction” lithograph prints with Gemini in LA called ‘Some New Prints’. David Hockney travels to Barcelona for his retrospective show. David Hockney opens his ‘Very New Paintings’ exhibition in New York. David Hockney uses his beloved dogs as subjects in his art works.


David Hockney designs costumes and scenery for 12 opera arias for the TV broadcast of Placido Domingo’s ‘Operalia’ in Mexico City. Exhibitions this year include; Tokyo, Japan where David Hockney shows his new gouache works and color laser photographs. David Hockney’s New York exhibition shows ‘Some Even Newer Paintings’ and in his home town of Bradford they hold an exhibition of David Hockney’s Dog Drawings.


David Hockney exhibits paintings and drawings at the Venice Biennale. David Hockney makes a series of etching and aquatint prints with the printer Maurice Payne called ‘Vertical Dogs’, ‘Horizontal Dogs’ and ‘Small Dogs’. These are of his dogs Stanley and Boodgie. David Hockney travels a lot this year, opening his travelling retrospective in Hamburg, moving on to Munich to paint the museum walls for a group exhibition on the Pierrot figure and on to London for his Drawing retrospective at The Royal Academy and to witness the unveiling of the BMW car he has painted for BMW Art Car Collection.


David Hockney creates and exhibits in New York and in his Santa Monica studio ‘Snails Space’ with vari-lites, Paintings as Performances’. He continues to paint family and friends.


An extensive exhibition called ‘Flowers, Faces and Spaces’ of David Hockney’s’ new still life paintings and direct portrait heads is shown in London at Annely Juda Fine Art. David Hockney takes a road trip; driving between Los Angeles and Santa Fe he admires the immensity of the American West. He is made a Companion of Honour by the Queen. During the summer David Hockney spends several months driving across his home county of Yorkshire between Bridlington and York to visit his friend,Jonathan Silver, who is dying. These drives result in a series of landscape paintings in oil rendered in a rich palette. On his return to Los Angeles he completes a large two-panel painting of ‘Salt’s Mill, Saltaire’ for Silver and continues to paint Yorkshire landscapes from memory. In December David Hockney: Retrospective Photoworks opens at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.


David Hockney continues to paint landscapes, culminating with ‘Garrowby Hill’. Inspired by Thomas Moran’s retrospective at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, David Hockney paints ‘A Bigger Grand Canyon’, made up of sixty small canvases and based on ‘Grand Canyon with Ledge, Arizona, October 1982’. The painting is exhibited at the National Museum of American Art in Washington. David Hockney continues to paint ‘A Closer Grand Canyon’, a 96-panel painting in which the viewer is invited further into the space. This time the painting is based on drawings and memory with no reference to photography. Working with Maurice Payne, who sets up a print studio in Hockney’s Hollywood Hills home, Hockney experiments with new techniques in a series of etchings of flowers, chairs and portraits. David Hockney’s landscape paintings are exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at LA Louver gallery, California.


David Hockney’s mother dies. The exhibition David Hockney: ‘Espace/Paysage’, which traces Hockney’s ideas about space and landscape from the 1960s to the present, opens at the Centre Georges Pompidou and then travels on to Germany. ‘Dialogue avec Picasso’, the first exhibition by a living artist at the Picasso Museum opens in Paris. Whilst on a trip to the National Gallery, London, Hockney views Portraits by Ingres, ‘Images of an Epoch’, convinces Hockney that Ingres used a camera ‘lucida’ to obtain such an accurate likenesses of people. David Hockney begins experimenting with the tool himself and in early spring begins the first of 280 portrait drawings. Hockney begins to research how the Old Masters achieved such accurate depictions of the world around them, discovering that they used mirrors and lenses. An article about his discoveries is published in the summer issue of the RA Magazine. David Hockney flies to New York to participate in ‘Ingres and Portraiture’ symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


David Hockney begins the research for the book he will write on the Old Masters and their secret techniques. He studies photocopies of paintings dating back over five centuries. An exhibition about camera lucida called ‘Likeness: Recent Portrait Drawings by David Hockney’, opens at UCLA Armand Hammer. In June David Hockney exhibits in ‘Encounters: New Art from Old’ at London’s National Gallery. David Hockney is invited to take inspiration from a work in the Gallery, Hockney chooses to depict the gallery warders in ‘12 Portraits after Ingres in a Uniform Style’. During the summer spent in London, David Hockney begins paintings of his London garden.


David Hockney’s book ‘Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters’ is published. David Hockney lectures at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and at the L.A County Museum of Art, USA. He travels to England, Germany, Italy and Belgium. David Hockney begins work on a documentary for the BBC about his research into the use of optical devices in art. ‘Secret Knowledge’ is broadcast in England on October 13. The exhibition ‘David Hockney Retrospective: Photoworks’ opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, while the retrospective ‘David Hockney: Exciting Times Are Ahead’ begins at the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundes-republik Deutschland in Bonn.


Back in New York, David Hockney works on the revival of ‘Parade: A Triple Bill at the Metropolitan Opera. While in New York, David Hockney views an Exhibition of Chinese paintings at the Metropolitan Museum. This inspires him to start experimenting with watercolours. Apart from travelling (with sketch book and watercolours) to the Norwegian fjords in search of the Northern lights, David Hockney spends almost all of this year in England. In celebration of the Queens Golden Jubilee, David Hockney assists Her Majesty in presenting the 2002 ‘Visual Arts Award’ at the Royal Academy of Arts. David Hockney agrees to sit for the painter Lucian Freud. And his portrait of the Glyndebourne chairman Sir George Christie and his wife Mary is unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in London. This important portrait is the catalyst for a series of both single and double portraits in watercolour of friends painted from life.


Following his endeavours from 2002, the New year begins with the opening of ‘Five Double Portraits: New Work by David Hockney’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London and an exhibition of double portraits and Norwegian landscapes at Annely Juda Fine Art in London. Eager to see the sunshine, David Hockney returns to Los Angeles where he continues painting in watercolour. Later in the year he attends the ‘Optics, Optical Instruments and Painting: the Hockney-Falco Thesis Revisited’ conference in Ghent, Belgium. The art world shows their appreciation of David Hockney’s extraordinary works of art by honouring him with a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and he collects the Lorenzo de Medici Lifetime Career Award at the Florence Biennale.


David Hockney’s recognition as one of the world’s greatest living painters is acknowledged once again when he flies to Sicily to collect the ‘Rosa d’Oro’ award. His interest in watercolours does not wane and he continues painting landscapes inspired by trips to Spain, France and Yorkshire. David Hockney’s watercolour works are included in the Whitney Biennial in New York. David Hockney curates the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London with the artist Allen Jones, showing a selection of his Spanish watercolours. Hockney’s retrospective book ‘Pictures’ is published.


At the beginning of the year ‘Hand, Eye, Heart’, an exhibition of David Hockney’s Yorkshire landscapes, opens at LA Louver Gallery, California. Hockney starts painting large, life-size immediate portraits. With no drawings or sketches to work from, David paints directly onto the canvas. These single standing figures are exhibited at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. David Hockney spends the summer in Bridlington painting the Yorkshire landscape. ‘Midsummer: East Yorkshire’ is exhibited in the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House, London.


David Hockney continues to develop a method of working large scale outdoors ‘en plein air’ by using multi canvas paintings that join to form one large painting. He continues to paint the spatial experience of the East Yorkshire landscape in this way. David Hockney attends the openings of his travelling exhibitions ‘David Hockney Portraits’. Firstly at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, then on to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and finally across the Atlantic to the National Portrait Gallery, London. The first exhibition of his multi canvas paintings together with their earlier single and double canvas counterparts is held later this year at Annely Juda Fine Art, London.


In January David Hockney is in California for the opening of his exhibition ‘East Yorkshire Landscape Paintings’ at the L.A. Louver Gallery. With the aid of digital photography, David Hockney’s outdoor multi-canvas compositions culminate in his largest painting ever. Comprising some 50 separate canvases they form one giant painting. ‘Bigger Trees Near Water’ graces an entire wall at the 2007 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Following his strong interest in watercolour, Tate Britain invites David Hockney to curate the largest exhibition of Turner watercolours 'Hockney on Turner Watercolours'. This is shown from June 2007 to February 2008. To coincide with the exhibition Tate Britain exhibits a selection of Hockney’s latest six-part Yorkshire Landscape paintings, this marking his 70th birthday. David Hockney returns to Los Angeles at the end of the year to begin staging the revival of his opera production “Tristan and Isolde” at the Los Angeles Opera.


“Tristan and Isolde” opens in January. Come April, David Hockney travels to London to donate the 50 or so canvas’s from ‘Bigger Trees Near Water’, to Tate Britain. David Hockney exhibits ten of the ‘Woldgate Woods’ paintings and ‘Looking at Woldgate Woods’ at The Arts Club of Chicago. Out on location, David Hockney begins to use the camera and large format prints to assist in assembling the massive paintings he continues to work on.


The beginning of the year sees the unveiling of his much awaited inkjet printed computer drawings. They are exhibited in LA and London. Hockney travels to Germany for the opening of ‘David Hockney: Nur Natur/Just Nature,’ an exhibition of over 70 large format paintings, numerous drawings, sketchbooks, and inkjet printed computer drawings. Hockney returns to England to paint and begins ‘portraits’ from his inkjet printed computer drawing series. Exhibits new paintings in a double venue show ‘David Hockney: Recent Paintings’ at the PaceWildenstein galleries in New York, his first major show in New York in over twelve years. And Nottingham Contemporary shows ‘David Hockney 1960 – 1968: A Marriage of Styles’.


And beyond! David Hockney; still smoking, still painting and still exploring new ideas on his iphone. Living in Bridlington, with his long term partner John Fitzherbert, David Hockney is currently preparing for the most ambitious exhibition so far, the Royal Academy of Arts has invited him to fill the entire gallery for the Olympic year. David Hockney says he is planning to paint a "very big" sunrise for the show.

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