Drawing on exclusive and unprecedented access to David Hockney’s extensive archives, notebooks, and paintings, interviews with family, friends, and on Hockney himself, Christopher Simon Sykes provides a colorful and intimate portrait of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.
Born in 1937, David Hockney grew up in a northern English town during the days of postwar austerity. By the time he was ten years old he knew he wanted to be an artist, and after leaving school he went on to study at Bradford Art College and later at the Royal College of Art in London. Bursting onto the scene at the Young Contemporaries exhibition, Hockney was quickly heralded as the golden boy of postwar British art and a leading proponent of pop art. It was during the swinging 60s in London that he befriended many of the seminal cultural figures of the generation and throughout these years Hockney's career grew. Always absorbed in his work, he drew, painted and etched for long hours each day, but it was a scholarship that led him to California, where he painted his iconic series of swimming pools. Since then, the most prestigious galleries across the world have devoted countless shows to his extraordinary work.
In the seventies he expanded his range of projects, including set and costume design for operas and experiments with photography, lithography, and even photocopying. Most recently he has been at the forefront the art world's digital revolution, producing incredible sketches on his iPhone and iPad, and it is this progressive thinking which has highlighted his genius, vigor and versatility as an artist approaching his 75th birthday.
In this, the first volume of Hockney’s biography, detailing his life and work from 1937 - 1975, Sykes explores the fascinating world of the beloved and controversial artist whose career has spanned and epitomized the art movements of the last five decades.
"The timing couldn't be better for this enjoyable and well-sourced book, which — like Hockney's own work — is both conversational and perceptive." —Los Angeles Times
"To read Christopher Simon Sykes' David Hockney is to marvel at the artistic gifts of the eccentric Yorkshireman who rose from a sometimes pinched childhood to hobnob with poet Stephen Spender and novelist Christopher Isherwood, to party with Mick Jagger and Manolo Blahnik." —The Plain Dealer
"Prodigiously entertaining." —Financial Times
“A chatty, knowledgeable, insider's biography, full of anecdotes.” —The Guardian
About Christopher Simon SykesSee more books from this Author
Sykes is nothing if not fastidious in his research. . .Read Full Review of David Hockney
Hockney’s story quite clearly is one of triumph against the odds, and the key problem with this book is that Sykes simply chooses to ignore it.Read Full Review of David Hockney
One wishes for a bit more color in Syke’s narrative, but one look at a Hockney would give you the zest needed.Read Full Review of David Hockney
Here's hoping the biographer doesn't make us wait too long for the next installment.Read Full Review of David Hockney
Some readers may decide Sykes goes overboard with contextual details. . .But you'd be hardhearted not to warm to Hockney.Read Full Review of David Hockney
. . .certainly the most moving and amusing account of the most popular British artist of the 2Oth century.Read Full Review of David Hockney
. . .Sykes writes well about the artwork itself and Hockney’s art influences. . .Read Full Review of David Hockney
Sykes' writing has a real raconteurial flair from the get-go.Read Full Review of David Hockney
. . .offers rich research and details about how Hockney grew up without a lot of money but deeply steeped in culture.Read Full Review of David Hockney
The chatty, gossipy approach sometimes feels a bit like People magazine.Read Full Review of David Hockney
Beautifully illustrated with full-color and black-and-white photographs throughout, this remarkable book will delight art lovers everywhere.Read Full Review of David Hockney
. . .an engaging blend of chatty artist-as-a-young(ish)-man anecdotes and cogent analysis of several of his career-making paintings. . .Read Full Review of David Hockney
. . .there is relatively little in the way of extended observation of Hockney’s art. What Sykes does, instead – and does very well – is provide a palpable sense of the man himself.Read Full Review of David Hockney
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