David Hockney

19.3.15 - 21.6.15

For David Hockney art is the unique connection between observation and reproduction. Louisiana’s guests have experienced this themselves, every time they have stood before Hockney’s A Closer Grand Canyon, one of the major paintings in the museum’s collection, and in 2011, when Louisiana exhibited Hockney, who had suddenly thrown himself into iPhone and iPad as reproductive media for his experiences.

Once again Louisiana exhibited a pivotal part of Hockney’s work, this time in the Louisiana on Paper series with the artist’s striking drawings of the landscape of Yorkshire, where he was born. They were completely classical in style, sometimes drawn in the open air, other times from the driver’s seat of a car parked by the corner of a fence. Hockney (born 1937) is a master draughtsman of a lineage with the best in art history. His drawings are peerless and the pleasure at the sight of them is contagious.


HHockney masters the classic drawing as few others have, and with his exceptional depictions of his native Yorkshire he is akin to the best in the history of art. In the exhibition’s drawings there are also nods to works by Picasso, Matisse and van Gogh. Treading in the footsteps of the masters is not the most important purpose of Hockney’s works though - the drawings also have the characteristics of the document.

Hockney’s delicate renderings of the Yorkshire countryside can also be seen as a document – of a special place, a time and an event. In 2012 Hockney’s assistant dies and he is immensely affected, physically as well as emotionally. The many hours in front of the subject, spread over several months in the spring of 2013, also have something to do with processing a lossmaturity of life and identity

In this connection, the then 75-year-old Hockney also took leave of the region of his birth and his home for the past decade. His charcoal drawings can therefore also be seen as a last farewell to England, with a view to resuming his life and work in the hills around Hollywood in sunny Los Angeles.


In front of his large panorama A Closer Grand Canyon, Hockney talks with Louisiana Channel about how we se and understand the world. In the video you can also hear his opinion on Photoshop, his thoughts on depicting spring, Picasso’s owl and the relationship between safety belts and bondage.