David Hockney: I draw, I do

19 Aug 2016 – 15 Oct 2016

Belfast, United Kingdom


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David Hockney (b. 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.


I draw, I do is the first significant presentation of Hockney’s work in Ireland. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s formative years at Bradford Regional College of Art in the 1950s and how the training and experimentation pursued there stayed with him and was further drawn on throughout his career.

Works on display include rarely seen anatomical and observational drawings, early graphite portraits as well as the print series Rakes Progress (1961-63): a semi-autobiographical story about Hockney, the ‘rake’, and the down and outs he met in New York in the early 1960s. The format, story and numbering system in this series is based on William Hogarth’s 1735 suite of prints of the same title.

In addition to these early pieces, also on display are significant later works which demonstrate Hockney’s continued interest in pushing the boundaries of drawing practice using new technologies.

The title of the exhibition is taken from an interview with the artist and designer Paul Smith. Smith asked, “Do you still draw in the more traditional way; in the way you first did when you left the Royal College?” And Hockney replied:

“Yeah, I draw, I do.... From the age of 16 to the age of 20, all I did was really draw, because I was at the art school in Bradford and in Bradford you could be in the school from nine in the morning to nine at night, because as a full-time student, you could go in the evenings and you’d have a life class then. So I drew for four years.

I don’t know what art schools are like now, but I’m told they don’t do drawing. That seems a bit mad to me that.

Drawing is going to be needed in the future.”

Curated in partnership with Jill Iredale, Curator of Fine Art at Bradford Museums and Galleries..


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