David Hockney: Pool Paintings

David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures), 1972 (photo: Art Gallery of New South Wales/Jenni Carter; © David Hockney)
David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures), 1972 (photo: Art Gallery of New South Wales/Jenni Carter; © David Hockney)

Matthew Sperling writes about David Hockney's pool paintings. A retrospective of works by David Hockney will be on view at Tate Britain from February 9 - May 29, 2017.

Sperling writes: "... on arrival in California ... one particular feature of the architecture, previously only seen in black and white photographs, struck Hockney with fresh intensity... Without yet knowing it, Hockney had discovered his great subject. The swimming pool would become the setting for many of his major paintings of the 1960s and 1970s, and his representations of Los Angeles houses would become defining images in the cultural identity of Southern California. If there is a certain irony in the fact of a Yorkshireman becoming the person to reveal California to itself, as if nobody truly knew what it looked like before, there is no doubt that California gave much to Hockney in return. His paintings of LA seem to open up an idyllic world of leisure, bright light and sexual openness, totally removed from the greyness and repression of the Britain he had left behind."