Celebrating 60 years of Hockney’s printmaking
David Hockney is one of Britain’s most acclaimed living artists.
Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London celebrates 60 years of his printmaking with an exhibition from 5 February – 11 May. Entitled: 2014: Hockney, Printmaker, it showcases over 100 of his stunning works since 1954.
It includes an incredible variety of styles and subject matter – ranging from large blazing colour prints to small, fine black and white drawings.
Tickets & info: www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
Watch the video: http://bit.ly/1eeJD69
I wrote the following assessment for the Hockney exhibition catalogue.
David Hockney’s pioneering representations of gay identity and sexuality in the early to mid 1960s broke taboos in a period when male homosexuality was illegal and when such images were often deemed obscene.
For many gay and bisexual people in the pre-law reform and pre-gay liberation period, his art was a rare public expression of their lives and loves. It was psychologically and emotionally empowering at a time when the orthodoxy was that homosexuality was shameful and should be kept hidden. Indeed, back then, the mainstream view was that same-sex relations were a subject unfit for public display or recognition, let alone acceptance.
Although he never saw himself as a gay activist, or even a gay artist, Hockney visually challenged the legal and social repression of gay and bisexual men. His early gay-themed, homoerotic drawings and paintings defied the then prevailing censorship of gay people and life. They asserted the important human rights principle of freedom of expression.
In this sense, the influence of his art went beyond the gay community. It was statement of individual and artistic freedom, which had a progressive cultural impact across all of society.
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation
NOTE: Dulwich Picture Gallery is one of London’s little-known gems; hosting a superb collection of Old Masters. Well worth a visit.