Born in 1937, David Hockney studied at the Bradford School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He first gained attention and national fame even before he graduated from the Royal College in 1962. During his time at the Royal College, Hockney won a gold medal and the Guinness Award for Etching in 1961. He was awarded a prize in the Junior Section of the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1961 and in the Graphics Section of the Paris Biennale in 1963. He exhibited as a Pop artist with a one- man show at the Kasmin Gallery in 1963. He was given a retrospective exhibition called “Paintings, Prints and Drawings 1960-1970” at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1970.
Hockney has gained a reputation for his success in drawings, witty etchings, double portraits, inventive photo-collages, opera sets and for his paintings of Southern California. Graphics have always been a significant part of Hockney’s work and in the late 1960s he won a number of prestigious awards for his prints. Hockney’s graphic suite of 1961-1963, in which he updated Hogarth’s “The Rakes Progress”, was based on his first visit to New York. In 1964 he painted his first California pictures, including his first pool work. In the same year Hockney was invited to make a print at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, which spearheaded the printmaking explosion in the United States.
At Tamarind, Hockney met Ken Tyler, a trainee printer destined to found two world-famous workshops: Gemini in Los Angeles and Tyler Graphics in New York. Hockney made several important portrait lithographs at Gemini in 1973 and his pool studies were all pressed at Tyler’s workshop in New York.
Throughout his career, Hockney has explored and reveled in the variety of techniques and effects offered by printmaking processes. He has also studied the techniques used by Picasso and spent two years working with Picasso’s printer in Paris.
Hockney has recently produced homemade prints on Canon and Kodak office copiers, transmitted huge murals to exhibitions by fax and made drawings on Computer Paintbox for the Television. Hockney continues to live and work in California using his immediate surroundings as subject matter for his work.