David Hockney: Drawing from Life

A portrait of the artist

By focusing on Hockney as a supreme draughtsman…the exhibition will demonstrate his constant and continuing ingenuity with portrait drawings which reference both tradition and technology.

Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery

Celebrating one of Britain’s most influential artists of the 20th century, David Hockney: Drawing from Life is the first major exhibition to focus on his draughtsmanship in over two decades. Bringing together 150 pieces loaned by the artist himself, and public and private collections around the world, this seminal exhibition includes examples of Hockney’s work from the 1950s to the present day.

From simple, sepia-ink line drawings to characteristic colours composed on an iPad, this remarkable retrospective traces the evolution of Hockney’s art over five decades. Exploring ideas of self through self-portraiture and drawings of his closest family and friends, David Hockney: Drawing from Life is a unique glimpse into the people and influences that have shaped this revered artist’s interior world.

A legend in the painting

Born in 1937 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, David Hockney attended the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. It was here that he first became known for his contribution to the pop art movement – something that he would return to over the years with vibrant and iconic results.

With its ambitious scope, and featuring a number of new portraits, David Hockney: Drawing from Life offers up an intimate view of the man behind the art that defined a generation.

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27 February - 28 June 2020


National Portrait Gallery
St. Martin's Place
Charing Cross