Happy Birthday, David Hockney

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David Hockney celebrates his 70th birthday today.

This prolific British artist was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1937. David Hockney is arguably the most versatile and popular British artist of the 20th century. 

In 1959 he began his formal studies at the Royal College of Art, London. From 1964 on, he spent more and more time in Los Angeles, where he eventually settled in 1978. In early 2004 he travelled in Spain and produced an impressive series of landscapes (above, ‘Andalucia, Mosques, Cordoba’, 2004, oil on canvas, 122 x 345 cm). 

At this year’s ‘Summer Exhibition’, at the Royal Academy in London, UK, Hockney exhibits his biggest work ever. The enormous canvas, ‘Bigger Trees Near Warter’, is composed of 50 small panels of 91 x 122 cm each, that evolve into a gigantic oil painting of 457 x 1219 cm overall. That’s probably too big for your living room. But it is awe inspiring indeed.

Meanwhile, new paintings from David Hockney’s East Yorkshire landscape series, not quite as big in size, will be exhibited for the first time in the UK at Tate Britain, from now until January 2008. The exhibition: ‘David Hockney: The East Yorkshire Landscape’ includes five large new paintings, each one around 381 cm long. That’s 12 feet. 

The ‘Summer Exhibition’ at the Royal Academy is on until 19 August, 2007. The ‘Yorkshire Landscape’ exhibition at the Tate Britain is on until 20 January, 2008. Have a look if you can.

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