David Hockney: Drawing from Life

October 2, 2020 through January 17, 2021

David Hockney (b. 1937) is one of the most internationally respected and renowned artists alive today. This exhibition will be the first to focus on his portraits on paper and one of very few exhibitions to investigate his drawing practice. Featuring about 100 drawings, the exhibition will trace a trajectory from Hockney’s early works as a student, to his Ingres-like portraits of the 1970s, and his return to the sketchbooks in the early 2000s. The exhibition will be unique in exploring Hockney’s practice on paper through a small group of sitters he has depicted repeatedly over the years: his muse and confidante, the designer Celia Birtwell; his mother; his friend and curator Gregory Evans, master printer Maurice Payne; and the artist himself. Each of these individuals have been important to Hockney. Over time he has rendered them in different forms: pencil, pen and ink, pastel drawings, etchings, photo-joiners, camera lucida, iphone and ipad drawings. In re-visiting these people over decades, Hockney gives us a unique insight into how his practice has evolved over time. 

An exhibition organized by the National Portrait Gallery, London, in collaboration with the artist and the Morgan Library & Museum.

David Hockney, Celia, Carennac, August 1971, Coloured Pencil on Paper, © David Hockney. Photography by Richard Schmidt. Collection The David Hockney Foundation.