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David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life

2 July — 2 October 2016

This exhibition is now closed

See upcoming exhibitions


"Another fascinating experiment by Mr. Hockney"

The Guardian


"An astonishing burst of youthful vigour"

The Daily Mail


"Who can help but be moved by a project so simply profound?"

The Times

"If ever an exhibition showed us how art in the best hands is a dish with taste, not a basket of ingredients, it is this one."

Sunday Times

David Hockney returns to the RA with a remarkable new body of work. Embracing portraiture with a renewed creative vigour, he offers an intimate snapshot of the LA art world and the people who have crossed his path over the last two years.

After his monumental landscape exhibition burst to life in our Main Galleries in 2012, Hockney turned away from painting and from his Yorkshire home, returning to Los Angeles. Slowly he began to return to the quiet contemplation of portraiture, beginning with a depiction of his studio manager. Over the months that followed, he became absorbed by the genre and invited sitters from all areas of his life into his studio.

His subjects – all friends, family and acquaintances – include office staff, fellow artists, curators and gallerists such as John Baldessari and Larry Gagosian. Each work is the same size, showing his sitter in the same chair, against the same vivid blue background and all were painted in the same time frame of three days. Yet Hockney’s virtuoso paint handling allows their differing personalities to leap off the canvas with warmth and immediacy.

Join in with the hashtag #HockneyPortraits on Twitter and Instagram

2 July — 2 October 2016

Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA, and under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free.

The Sackler Wing, Burlington House