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David Hockney

The Biography, 1937-1975

David Hockney by christopher simon sykes
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Drawing on exclusive and unprecedented access to David Hockney’s extensive archives, notebooks, and paintings, interviews with family, friends, and on Hockney himself, Christopher Simon Sykes provides a colorful and intimate portrait of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

Born in 1937, David Hockney grew up in a northern English town during the days of postwar austerity. By the time he was ten years old he knew he wanted to be an artist, and after leaving school he went on to study at Bradford Art College and later at the Royal College of Art in London. Bursting onto the scene at the Young Contemporaries exhibition, Hockney was quickly heralded as the golden boy of postwar British art and a leading proponent of pop art. It was during the swinging 60s in London that he befriended many of the seminal cultural figures of the generation and throughout these years Hockney's career grew. Always absorbed in his work, he drew, painted and etched for long hours each day, but it was a scholarship that led him to California, where he painted his iconic series of swimming pools. Since then, the most prestigious galleries across the world have devoted countless shows to his extraordinary work.

In the seventies he expanded his range of projects, including set and costume design for operas and experiments with photography, lithography, and even photocopying. Most recently he has been at the forefront the art world's digital revolution, producing incredible sketches on his iPhone and iPad, and it is this progressive thinking which has highlighted his genius, vigor and versatility as an artist approaching his 75th birthday.

In this, the first volume of Hockney’s biography, detailing his life and work from 1937 - 1975, Sykes explores the fascinating world of the beloved and controversial artist whose career has spanned and epitomized the art movements of the last five decades.

"The timing couldn't be better for this enjoyable and well-sourced book, which — like Hockney's own work — is both conversational and perceptive." —Los Angeles Times

"To read Christopher Simon Sykes' David Hockney is to marvel at the artistic gifts of the eccentric Yorkshireman who rose from a sometimes pinched childhood to hobnob with poet Stephen Spender and novelist Christopher Isherwood, to party with Mick Jagger and Manolo Blahnik." —The Plain Dealer

"Prodigiously entertaining." —Financial Times

“A chatty, knowledgeable, insider's biography, full of anecdotes.” —The Guardian

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; April 2012
384 pages; ISBN 9780385531450
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Title: David Hockney
Author: christopher simon sykes
  • News
Hockney: The Biography, Volume Two – review - The Guardian
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 23:30:15 -0700
The GuardianHockney: The Biography, Volume Two – reviewThe GuardianChristopher Simon Sykes has now completed the second part of ...
Christopher Simon Sykes paints 'David Hockney' in a good light - Plain Dealer
Tue, 17 Apr 2012 03:06:30 -0700
Plain DealerChristopher Simon Sykes paints 'David Hockney' in a good lightPlain DealerTo read Christopher Simon ...
David Hockney's blues and sunshine moments come out in new biography - The Guardian
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:07:55 -0700
The GuardianDavid Hockney's blues and sunshine moments come out in new biographyThe GuardianDavid Hockney allowed ...