DAVID HOCKNEY at Tate Britian

David Hockney is 80 this year.  Tate Britain has decided that simply sending a card is not enough to mark the occasion and has put on the most extensive retrospective exhibition of his work ever.  Proceedings are kicked off with some of the paintings he made when he was a student at the Royal College of Art.  I was particularly taken with this depiction of a packet of Typhoo Tea: in the audio guide that comes with the ticket, David Hockney explains how he drinks tea when working and so when he came to decide to do a still life empty packets of tea were in plentiful supply.

David Hockney, Tate Britain

Pictures hanging on the wall are the traditional focus for an exhibition but at this one I was amused by the titles for each room.  ‘Paintings with People in’, ‘Sunbather’ and ‘Close Looking’ for example tell you what you are going to see without pulling any punches.  The huge colour saturated canvases in ‘The Wolds’ gave me the perfect opportunity to play with my new wide angle lens.

David Hockney, Tate Britain

Playing with the possibilities of new technology is, for me, one of David Hockney’s endearing features.  When I first came to London, the Hayward had a show of collages that he had made using Polaroids.  I remember it as being wonderful and embarked on similar experiments, the Tate devotes a room them.  He is still better at them than me.

David Hockney, Tate Britain

Colour and lots of it dominates the exhibition.  So when you get to the penultimate room and are greeted by twenty five black and white drawings documenting the arrival of Spring 2013 in the Yorkshire Wolds, the effect is arresting.  I was unable to resist taking a close look at all of them.

David Hockney, Tate Britain

For most of us, iPads have transformed our lives by making us more connected to each other all the time.  Whilst I’m distracted by the endless chatter of instant messaging, David Hockney has embraced the devise as an artistic tool.  Not only as the finished image but also to record the creation from the first mark through to the final flourish.

David Hockney, Tate Britain

Tickets for this exhibition are selling fast.  One way to get round tickets not being available for your desired time slot is to take out membership which will give you access to this and all other special exhibitions on at both London sites for a year.  You also get to sip your coffee in special members rooms. Find out more in my London Museum Membership post.

9 February 2017 – 29 May 2017
Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Open: daily 10am – 6pm
Admission: £17.70 adults, concessions available.  Booking tickets in advance recommended

Wander Mum


  1. February 28, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    I’d love to say I totally get this, but I know the last time I visited the Tate it went over my head, I have a lot to learn about modern art. #CityTripping

  2. Phoebe
    February 28, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    It’s hard to imagine David Hockney is 80, that makes me feel so old too! I was such a big fan of his in my teens and used to have posters of his swimming pools on my wall. I must admit having not lived in UK for 30 years now I feel a bit out of touch with his work but I’d happily reconnect through this exhibition. #citytripping

    • Catherine
      February 28, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Well worth the trip to London!

  3. March 1, 2017 / 4:27 am

    We’ll go to that when we visit in April – I flew down to Melbourne to see the Hockney exhibition (literally for lunch then home) and it was so joyous and fun. It was all the work on the ipads. Just amazing. I loved it. Seen the installation in Hawaii too. Before last year, I’d never really paid attention to him. Now I’m a HUGE fan!

    • Catherine
      March 1, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Joyous and fun, those are the words!

  4. tracycollins2016
    March 1, 2017 / 9:37 am

    I recently visited Saltaire where there are lots of Hockneys on display but will definitely trying to get tickets to this exhibition of his work! #citytripping

  5. March 2, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Love the contrast of the grey wall and black and white images against the rest. When I think of Hockney, I think colour.

  6. March 2, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I’d like to see this exhibition. I think it’s great Hockney has embraced the iPad. No surprise tickets are going quick! Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • Catherine
      March 2, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Tate Britain also in a lovely location by the river, really enjoyed my walk from station to gallery

      • March 4, 2017 / 12:36 am

        Really great. I used to walk past there a lot on my way to work. Can’t believe I haven’t been in!

  7. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    March 3, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I’ve only recently discovered Tate Britain in the last couple of years. It’s a wonderful place. This definitely hits the spot for me and I’m astounded by the iPad creation – how bold and beautiful!

  8. March 4, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    That’s quite a birthday celebration. Amazing to see so much from his life in one place and the different styles. The black and white of the Yorkshire Wolds really caught my eye in your photos though. #citytripping

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