David Hockney retrospective opens doors to public in Hamburg

By Carola Grosse-Wilde, dpa

Hamburg (dpa) – A retrospective of the works of David Hockney goes on display in Hamburg on Saturday in cooperation with London’s Tate.

Known as Britain’s Andy Warhol, Hockney is one of the most celebrated painters in contemporary art.

The Bucerius Kunst Forum art gallery in the German port city is displaying some of his most important works, such as “The First Marriage,” “Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy” and “My Parents.”

The exhibition includes around 100 pieces in total, most of which are on loan from the Tate.

“The special thing about Hockney and what makes him a great artist is that the viewer is always part of the work. He always takes the viewer into account and takes them with him,” gallery director Kathrin Baumstark said on Thursday, describing what makes Hockney’s work so moving for many.

Hockney was born in 1937 in Yorkshire, England. His early works incorporated an expressionist and gesticular style of painting similar to that of Francis Bacon.

Hockney’s sexuality as a gay man, still punishable at the time, became a dominant theme in his work as he positioned himself as an artist.

“David Hockney found Los Angeles sexy before he was even there,” Baumstark said as she toured the new exhibition.

He had everything he was looking for there: glistening light, the element of water and beautiful naked men, all of which, Baumstark says, are perfectly combined in the 1964 painting “Man in Shower in Beverly Hills.”

In his famous couples’ portraits, he sought to capture the characteristics of a relationship in a single moment.

In the 1990s, Hockney’s attention switched to landscapes, including in his ancestral Yorkshire as well as the Grand Canyon.

His most recent work, “In the Studio” of 2017, is a panoramic piece made up of thousands of manipulated and digitally stitched-together photographs, showing the artist in his studio in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.

The show, David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection, runs up to May 10.

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