David Hockney at Tate Britain
Report by Sarah Roberts
The David Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain gathers together the artist's most celebrated works, spanning the mediums of painting, drawing, print, photography and video, in a display that reaches over six decades.
Put together in celebration of Hockney's 80th birthday, the exhibition is his most extensive show and his first retrospective since 1988. It includes more than 100 works, spread across thirteen rooms that run chronologically through Hockney's life.
As Britain's most celebrated living artist, the Tate aims to reflect Hockney's remarkable career, showing the varied artistic styles he employs, and the varied spaces his art occupies, from the fields of Yorkshire, to Bradford, London, and, perhaps most famously, the swimming pools of LA. The exhibition shows how the idea for each new direction was rooted in the work that came before it, while his trademark vibrant and illuminating use of colour is threaded through each painting.
Hockney has always embraced technology and was one of the first artists to make use of television, which allowed him to communicate to a broad audience, during a time when most of the population was oblivious to contemporary art. And he continues to utilise new and expanding technologies in his work, using iPads and iPhones to create new art forms.
The exhibition is the fastest-selling show in Tate history, and tickets have been so sought-after that Tate Britain has extended its opening times to accommodate more visitors. Perhaps the popularity of the show is a testament to Hockney's view that art should be inclusive and wide-reaching, and not just reserved for a small fragment of society.