Hockney in the 60’s was that rare thing – an artist at the forefront of the avant-garde of the day, and a well-known public figure. With his Yorkshire accent, bleached blond hair, owlish glasses and frank homosexuality he stood out at the Royal College of Art in London. This exhibition offers a portrait of the artist as a young man, in London and Los Angeles. His work of the time is marked by a unique pictorial wit. It is informed by the books he was reading, places he was visiting, people he desired, lifestyles he aspired to – and the art that inspired him. It is an exhibition full of allusions – to the homoerotic poetry of Walt Whitman and CP Cavafy, to Egyptian archaeology, to Modernism, children’s drawings, furtive graffiti and the flat perfection of commercial art. Texts by Alex Farquharson and Andrew Brighton.
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