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Hockney on 'Art':
Conversations with Paul Joyce

by David Hockney

ISBN 0316860743 / 9780316860741 / 0-316-86074-3
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

For the last 30 years David Hockney has been the foremost exponent of British art and "one of a tiny group of people who define their generation". In his conversations with filmmaker Paul Joyce, now collected together in Hockney on Art, he lays bare the thought processes of the artist at work. Hockney's musings and insights are skilfully interspersed with works by the artists who have inspired him--Rembrandt and Picasso are particular favourites--and with examples of his own methodical preparations for portrait-painting, in particular his habit of taking photographs of his subjects and reinventing them through the medium of paint. His black-and-white image of fashionable 1960s dress designer Ossie Clark and his wife and cat, marooned in the white fur carpet of their minimalist house, becomes a brilliant rendering of body language, light and colour in the finished work Mr and Mrs. Clark and Percy, reproduced on the facing page. Just to flick through this book is to be reminded of the prolific nature of Hockney's art and his uncompromising use of colour. "We are forced to make depictions. We have made them for 10,000 years now and we are certainly not going to stop. There's a deep desire within us that makes us want to do it. Every depiction was made by means of painting and drawing until the middle of the 19th century. The hand made them all until it looked as if the hand was stopping and then they were made by machinery. Now we're getting to the core. It looked as if the hand was a disappearing but, of course, it can't disappear, even from making the depiction." Hockney's words are frank, considered, highly original--not simply an embellishment of his paintings but a perfect counterpoint to them. Taking place from 1982-1999, in a variety of locations from London to Los Angeles, the end result of Hockney on Art is a fascinating glimpse of one of the most idiosyncratic and influential figures of the 20th century. --Catherine Taylor [via]