Boy, oh, boy does David Hockney ever deserve a retrospective. I was blown away during the tour of this exhibit, learning about the extent of his innovations and range of artistic contributions. The show celebrates 60 years of this man’s life’s work and you cannot emerge without feeling almost familiar with who he is as an artist and as a human.
Hockney’s art is infused with his very colorful life. He uses art to tell stories: his own and others. His art offers a peek into his obsessions (road trips, L.A., pools, water, people) and his passions (opera, poetry, art, and experimentation with multiple mediums and styles).
I so admire his clear and, even at 80, continued drive to innovate, to evolve and to go beyond. He is clearly a rule breaker, but not in a deviant or contrarian manner…more like a playful “what the heck let’s try something new” manner. And if that involves using dishwashing liquid in one of his pool paintings or breaking every single rule on perspective, than so be it.
This “throw the rule book away” mentality freed him to work in any medium of his choosing and unveil every mood and perception. This is precisely what makes the retrospective so exciting! Each of the 6 or so exhibit rooms we visited had a distinctly different feel with some winking consistencies – my favorite being his proclivity for including his own art within his art and his general tendency towards optimism, even under bleak circumstances.
I can not wait to bring my budding artist/son here on Friday to show him this man’s amazing array of work. You should grab the artist in your life and bring her or him too. The exhibit’s last day is February 25th.
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 999.
The Met Fifth Avenue
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028