David Hockney, 1937–, English painter, studied Royal College of Art. Moving from a distorted, semiexpressionist form of pop art, Hockney developed a highly personal realistic style, producing images saturated with color that are witty, uniquely in the moment, and often openly homoerotic. His customary subjects include still lifes, portraits, and aspects of gay life. Much of his work is also informed by his long-time residence (1978–2005) in Southern California, for instance his many joyous paintings of swimmers in undulating, light-struck, turquoise-hued pools. His superb draftsmanship is evident in his drawings, paintings, illustrated books, and several series of prints, notably The Rake's Progress (1961–63). Hockney is also known for his photographs, his mosaiclike photomontages, and his imaginative stage sets for ballets and operas. Later in his career Hockney became interested in the historical relationship between representational painters and optical devices, maintaining in Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters (2001, rev. ed. 2006) and elsewhere that from about 1430 to 1860 many painters in the Western tradition used innovations in visual technology such as lenses, mirrors, the camera obscura, and the camera lucida to produce their strikingly realistic effects. In 2005 he returned to his native Yorkshire, where he painted large colorful landscapes and experimented with digital technology, e.g., creating printed computer portrait drawings and painting with smartphone and computer tablet software.
See his autobiographies (1976, 1993), both ed. by N. Stangos; Hockney on Photography: Conversations with Paul Joyce (1988); biography by C. S. Sykes (Vol. I, 2012); G. Evans, ed, Hockney's Pictures: The Definitive Retrospective (2004); studies by M. Livingstone (1981, enl. ed. 1996), P. Webb (1988), K. E. Silver (1994), P. Clothier (1995), and P. Melia, ed. (1995).
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Publication information: Article title: Hockney, David. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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