Monday, July 10, 2017

Venice : Ca Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna – David Hockney - 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life

“I think that the more I know and respect people, the more interesting the result will be.”
David Hockney - 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life
Ca Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna

At Ca Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia presents the first Italian museum exhibition of the paintings of David Hockney, one of the greatest contemporary figurative English painters.  David Hockney 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life, until October 22, is curated by Edith Devaney curator of Contemporary Projects at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and with the scientific direction of Gabriella Belli. Painted between 2013 and 2016, and considered by the artist as a single corpus of works, the eighty-two portraits displayed in Venice offer a vision of Hockney’s life in Los Angeles, his city of adoption, and his relationships with the international art world, specifically with galleries, critics, curators, artists. These pictures portray famous faces, such as those of John Baldessari, Larry Gagosian and Stephanie Barron, but also family and others who became part of his daily life.

“Edith is an old friend. We worked together on my exhibition A Bigger Picture at The Royal Academy in 2012, and we have the fortune again of working together on this exhibition.”

David Hockney – Edith Devaney
11-12-13 February 2016

“J-P is the best studio assistant I’ve ever had.”

David Hockney - J-P Goncalves de Lima
11-12-13 July 2013

In the summer of 2013, a tragic incident shook the close group of friends and collaborators, throwing Hockney into a period of inactivity, a rare condition for such a prolific artist in a wide range of media. After returning to Los Angeles following almost ten years in Britain, his longest stay in the country of his birth since the seventies, Hockney again devoted himself to portraiture, painting Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima (above), his assistant and close associate in the years of work at Bridlington


David Hockney

Gregory Evans - Benedikt Taschen - John Baldessari

Martin Gayford

Some came to the appointment in elegant clothes with silk skirts, kimono and finely decorated shirts, dark suits and ties; others instead wore polo shirts and shorts with deliberate nonchalance. They leaned forward to get closer to the host, or sat scrupulously straight, seeking to offer the best image of themselves.

  photograph and copyright manfredi bellati

“Dominique was Yves Saint Laurent’s secretary for a long time.  She’s not quite like that. She looks very formidable there.  She is, as well.   I got one aspect of her face but not another I don’t think.”

David Hockney – Dominique Deroche
4-5-6 February – 2016

  David Hockney
George Snyder - Larry Gagosian - Jonathan Mills

Some seem to be on the defensive, retreating imperceptibly almost as though to establish a distance; others, adopting a different body language, express the empathetic bond created between painter and sitter. The expressions of the faces are changeable: relaxed and benign, restless or dubious, concentrated and serious. The hands are shown together in the lap, holding the head, quivering on the armrests of the chair. And finally there are the shoes, which according to the artist are the expression of individual personalities: they may be polished and elegant, comfortable or working shoes, with high heels, aesthetically beautiful or ugly.


“Brian is a friend of Douglas Baxter and a friend of mine.”
David Hockney – Brian Hastings
18-19-20 – July 2015

“Dagny is a very old friend. I met her in 1965.”

David Hockney - Dagny Corcoran
15-16-17 January - 2014

Mariacristina Gribaudi
President Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

David Hockney

Alex Calderon - Didier Ottinger 

Gabriella Belli

Director Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

David Hockney
Rufus Hale – Matthias Weischer – Andrew Palmer – Celia Birtwell 


David Hockney

Merle Glick – Jacob Rothchilds - Douglas Baxter

Hockney has known most of the sitters for a long time, has already portrayed them on other occasions, and tries to capture their pose as quickly as possible, as they will not sit in the same, identical fashion in the next session. After the general sketch is done, the acrylic colour paint is quickly applied to the canvas; this is a medium that dries quickly and allows for a quick execution. At this juncture, the artist records the volumes of the face, blocking out the structure of the body and sketching the background. The application of colour lasts for the three days of the session, and alternates with a continuous observation of the sitter for seven hours per day, interrupted only by a lunch break. Working with order and method, Hockney observes a precise pattern, painting every element, checking every nuance, angle and detail, intensely studying facial features, hairstyle and clothing. He is not only rigorous in the rendering of the subject, but equally attentive to the comparison with the earlier portraits, having in mind a series composed of single works constituting a set.

“Douglas is president of Pace Gallery, and is my dealer in New York.”

David Hockney – Douglas Baxter
8-9-10 February 2014


Elisabetta Barisoni
Director Ca Pesaro - Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna

David Hockney

Julia Green – Jonathan Mills – Sir Norman Rosenthal 

 “Ayn was painted three days after the funeral of her father, Stanely Grinstein, Director of Gemini G.E.L.  I’d arranged to paint her, and then her father died.  I went to the funeral.  So she was a bit sad, looking a bit sad as well.  Actually Fruit on a Bench was painted because she delayed coming because of the funeral, so I just set up some fruit on a bench and I thought well, I’ll just paint something.  So I set the bench up on the same place, so the light is similar, and I just painted it.  And then I just kept it with the portraits.”

David Hockney – Ayn Grinstein
10-11-12 March – 2014

… And 1 Still Life

David Hockney – Fruit on a Bench
6-7-8 March 2014



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