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HomeContents > People > Photographers > David Hockney

Dates:  1937, 9 July -
Born:  Great Britain, Bradford
Active:  US
Gender:  Male
 
  
English painter, printmaker, stage designer and photographer.

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for David Hockney
Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK)

 
  
Hockney was born in Bradford, and studied at the Royal College of Art. In London, he saw American Abstract Expressionist paintings and became friendly with RB Kitaj, and other founders of British Pop Art. From the outset, Hockney was fascinated by the interplay between flat surfaces and spatial illusion, and his work is often jokey, with numerous references to popular culture and a recurrent autobiographical flavour. In 1964 he visited Los Angeles, where he later settled, and began to take polaroid photographs. Their aesthetic had a profound influence on the flat, atmospheric acrylic paintings of friends and acquaintances, often featuring Californian swimming pools, with which he rapidly established an international reputation. Hockney is a highly accomplished draughtsman and etcher, and from the 1970s emerged as a distinguished stage designer. From the 1980s, he has become increasingly fascinated by colour photography, producing photographic collages and large murals comprising prints created on a photocopier or with a laser jet printer. Britain’s most consistently popular figurative artist, Hockney dislikes the label ‘Pop’. He is also a highly influential commentator on his own art, and that of the past. 
  
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Victoria & Albert Museum and is included here with permission. 
  
Date last updated: 11 Nov 2011. 
  
SHARED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION PROJECT 
  
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
 
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.
 
  

Biography provided by Focal Press 
  
Hockney stated "photography is all right if you don’t mind looking at the world from the point of view of a paralyzed Cyclops — for a split second." To overcome his dissatisfaction with photography’s single-point perspective, he made numerous photographs of a scene from various vantage points and arranged the resulting prints into a cubist-like collage. His canvas-sized color visions bring together an expanded collection of components observed over time and fabricated into a grand, extended, constantly changing entirety. By interrupting space and displacing time, Hockney breaks the perspective of the Renaissance window, carrying his synthetic multifaceted representations of a subject beyond the edges of the frame, dissolving the photograph’s traditional rectangle. 
  
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer) 
  
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 
  

HomeContents > Further research

 
  
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
  
Weschler, L., 1984, Cameraworks: David Hockney, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf) [Δ
  
 
  
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - alan@luminous-lint.com
 
Thumbnail
Klaus Behr
Portrait of David Hockney 
1995
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
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Internet biographies

Terms and Conditions

 
Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
Show on this siteGo to website
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
  
• Hoy, Anne H. 1987 Fabrications: Staged, Altered and Appropriated Photographs (New York: Abbeville) p.186 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on David Hockney.] 
  
 

Quotations

The wit and wisdom.

 
"I‘ve finally figured out what‘s wrong with photography. It‘s a one—eyed man looking through a little ‘ole. Now, how much reality can there be in that?"
"When is the present? When did the past end and the present occur, and when does the future start? Ordinary photography has one way of seeing only, which is fixed, as if there is kind of an objective reality, which simply cannot be. Picasso…knew that every time you look there‘s something different. There is so much there but we‘re not seeing it, that‘s the problem."
 
  
 
  
 
  
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