David Hockney - Biennale

The occasions to see David Hockney's works in Italy are rare and even rarer are the occasions to meet and get to know him. It is therefore with great pleasure that the 4th edition of the Florence Biennale hosted the British artist at the conference on the importance of optical instruments for Renaissance artists. During the visit to the exhibition and the meeting with the artists and visitors present at the event, the President of the Biennale, Pasquale Celona, presented the British artist with the International "Lorenzo il Magnifico" Lifetime Achievement Award.

David Hockney and Anglo-Saxon Pop Art

Born in Bradford in Great Britain in 1937, David Hockney is a painter, graphic artist, photographer and designer. He achieved success and international fame at the age of 25. Since then he remains the most famous British artist of his generation.

From the early 1960s onwards, the artistic atmosphere in London and the success of his participation in some decisive group exhibitions (especially the Young Contemporaries Exhibition in January 1961) established him as one of the protagonists of Anglo-Saxon Pop Art, even though the artist has repeatedly rejected this label. In his early works he used images from popular magazines and icons of the Pop Art genre to great effect.

After frequent trips to New York, where he experienced his stay as a provincial's access to a free and dazzling world, and later to Los Angeles, the artist moved to the United States.

For many of his works, David Hockney draws inspiration from the suggestions of the grandiose daily life of this country, as evidenced by the recurring theme of the Californian swimming pool (A Bigger Splash, Tate, 1967). Trained as a painter, Hockney was already known to the world when he suddenly decided to turn to photography in 1981, presenting new works made from Polaroid photographs. Since then he has produced artwork in almost every known medium: painting, drawing, design, photography, etching, always pushing the boundaries of each.

Awards and exhibitions

In 1986 he began to explore new creative avenues of printmaking by working with colour and black-and-white photocopies. In 1988 a major retrospective of his work was presented in Los Angeles, New York and London. In the last decade of the century he produced numerous etchings and lithographs with printer Ken Tyler.

In 1997 he received an award from Queen Elizabeth of England, the Companion of Honour. His many years of research in the field of optics and perspective culminated in 2001 with the publication of his internationally best-selling book Secret Knowledge.

In 2012, he held the largest exhibition of his landscapes at the Royal Academy of Arts in London: more than 150 works were exhibited, 51 of which were created on iPads and accompanied by videos projected on a wall of 18 aligned screens.

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