David Hockney returns to London's Royal Academy with new art show

Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:46am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - British artist David Hockney will return to the Royal Academy of Arts with a new exhibition of portraits that offers an insight into his life in Los Angeles and his connections to the art world.

The show, "David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life," will be held at the Sackler Wing at the Royal Academy of Arts from July 2 to Oct. 2.

"He's intensely interested in people and he loves the company of people and I think bringing all of these people to Los Angeles was a very important thing," said curator Edith Devaney.

"He's also interested in what the camera has done to our perception of the portrait and in a way, he's challenging that here," she added in an interview.

Each portrait was created within three days, which Hockney has described as "a 20-hour exposure." His subjects include designer Celia Birtwell, architect Frank Gehry and comedian Barry Humphries as well as family and friends.

Every portrait is painted in acrylic on a canvas of the same size with the subject seated in the same chair against a vivid blue background.

Born in Bradford, England in 1937, Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art from 1957-62. He cemented his reputation with the "Young Contemporaries" exhibition in London in 1960, before moving to Los Angeles in 1974.

Hockney is considered as one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

"He's enormously important still in the art world," said Devaney. "Not only is he unbelievably gifted as a draughtsman, you know his drawing is like no one else's."

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and G Crosse)