David Hockney

David Hockney in the Tyler Graphics studio, Bedford Village, New York State, May 1980. National Gallery of Australia Collection

A collection of David Hockney prints drawn from the National Gallery of Australia’s extensive Kenneth Tyler Collection is on display at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery from 5 October-1 December. The MPRG is the only Victorian venue for this travelling exhibition.

David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century and an essential contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s.

This exhibition highlights his talents as one of the greatest printmakers of our time – a thrilling insight into the mind of an iconic artist still searching for new ways of seeing.

David Hockney: Prints features over 80 works from 1961 to the present day, including prints developed using lithography and etching, photocopiers and fax machines, and more recently, iPhones and iPads.

“Art is often about influence, and it is an absolute privilege to exhibit at the MPRG the prints of one of the greatest influencers of the 20th century, David Hockney,” Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery director Jane Alexander says. “It’s wonderful to be able to bring works by a major artist to the Mornington Peninsula for locals to see. We are really excited about this exhibition and hope that many people will enjoy the show and leave seeing the world in a different, brighter, Hockney-inspired way.”

A truly international artist who moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and during his lifetime exhibited widely in the USA, UK and Europe, David Hockney has always demonstrated a profound visual curiosity and desire to surprise, shock and entertain.

This is the second exhibition MPRG has hosted featuring works from the National Gallery of Australia’s Kenneth Tyler Collection. Kenneth Tyler was a master printer who collaborated with some of the twentieth century’s most brilliant artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. The NGA first acquired over 600 prints, rare proofs and drawings in 1974 and has continued to build a significant collection of the most important works produced at the Tyler workshops over a nearly 40-year period.

The current Hockney exhibition features a number of notable series, including The Weather Series where Hockney explored the pictorial problem of how to depict the weather – sun, rain, mist, lightning, snow and wind. Always innovative when experimenting with new techniques, in rain Hockney dripped ink onto a lithographic stone, saying ‘I loved the idea of the rain as it hit the ink it would make the ink run. The moment I thought of the idea, I couldn’t resist it.’ In the Paper pools project, Hockney explored the swimming pool at Kenneth Tyler’s house in Bedford – how to depict a pool and what one chooses to look at – the water, figures diving and gliding, flickering light and shadows during the cycle of the day, the steps and the diving board.

The exhibition also showcases how drawing was the foundation for all Hockney’s art. If you could draw, he once said, you could always make money.

Visitors can explore David Hockney and printmaking further through curator floor talks, a printmaking workshop, kids’ programs and a special talk on Friday 22 November, 5-6.30pm with John Hockney, David Hockney’s brother, who has written a revealing book about the Hockney clan to be released in Australia in March 2020: The Hockneys: Never Worry What the Neighbours Think.

John is the youngest of five Hockney siblings. Two of the brothers moved to Australia, Philip in 1961 and John followed in 1968 and became a writer and musician. John Hockney says ‘I have always been proud of my older siblings and felt the stories of individual determination to succeed and be themselves should be told.’ John will present an illustrated talk about his brother David, from early years to the many genres Hockney mastered during his life.

Visit mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au to find out more about exhibitions and programs.

National Gallery of Australia Collection
David Hockney: Prints
Mornington Peninsula Gallery, Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington

Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–5pm
Entry:$4 adults / $2 concession
More information: 5950 1580 or mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au

Peninsula Essence – November 2019