New Year’s Honours List
The year begins auspiciously when Hockney is included in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—the Order of Merit, [NESTED]the most prestigious honor for achievement in the arts, held by only 24 living recipients. While Hockney had declined a knighthood in 1990, he feels it would be ungracious to turn down this personal gift from the Queen.
A Bigger Picture at London's RA
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture opens in January at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Even though he will turn 75 later in July, Hockney rejects the idea of a retrospective, opting instead for a themed exhibition of the East Yorkshire landscapes. Despite its short run—just under three months—A Bigger Picture draws more than 600,000 visitors, making it one of the most heavily attended exhibitions in British history. On a quiet day, Hockney makes a three-camera movie of the installation.
I’m still too excited about what I will do tomorrow. You don’t retire doing this. You just do it 'til you fall over. It’s an interesting life. My mind is occupied. That’s what you want at my age, but I always wanted it. In fact, I’m greedy for it.
Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday
The Science Museum in London plans an exhibition to celebrate physicist Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday and asks Hockney to do a portrait.[NESTED] Hockney, with iPad in hand, travels to Cambridge for the sitting on February 28. The finished work is shown on a video monitor as a playback of the drawing in progress.
Since 1990 Hockney has been treating his friends to a musical drive through the hills and valleys of California. He now develops an ingenious plan to digitally capture one of his famous automobile outings choreographed to music. The techniques are similar to those used in the multi-camera movies, Seven Yorkshire Landscapes and The Four Seasons. He mounts three digital cameras on his convertible and creates a movie with three perspectives captured simultaneously while driving through the Angeles National Forest with music by Sousa, Wagner, and Schumann blaring. He entitles the multi-camera movie with sound Wagner Drive.
Before the year is over, Hockney has made an eighteen-camera movie, The Jugglers, and A Bigger Picture has traveled to Bilbao and Cologne, but he is slowed down by health problems.
I had had a very minor stroke that had kept me in London, and the first drawing afterwards took me two days to do (the days are a lot shorter in November). The stroke only manifested itself in my speech. I found I couldn’t finish sentences, and although it came back after about a month I find now I talk a lot less.
Hockney begins working with charcoal on paper and completes several self portraits. They have a more serious look than the almost playful iPad [NESTED]self portraits done previously. He also does several large drawings of a tree trunk he calls the “Totem,” featured in several earlier paintings.
I drove out on Woldgate and noticed the Totem had been deliberately sawn through. A bit before this I was sent photographs of graffiti that had been painted on it. Annoying, but I thought the winter would take them away. I was at first very sad and went to bed for two days a bit depressed by the vandalism. Then I decided to draw it.
- A Bigger Picture, Royal Academy of Arts, London (Jan 21–Apr 9); travels to Guggenheim Bilbao (May 15–Sep 30) and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (Oct 27, 2012–Feb 3, 2013); catalogue with texts by Tim Barringer, Edith Devaney, Margaret Drabble, Martin Gayford, David Hockney, Marco Livingstone, and Xavier F. Salomon, London: Thames & Hudson.
- Hockney’s Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, Japan (Feb 11–Mar 25).
- Northern Landscapes, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Tromsø (Jun 16–Sep 30); catalogue.
- Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA (Jan 21–May 27).
- Self-Portrait, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (Sep 14, 2012–Jan 13, 2013); catalogue.
- Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Sep 18–Dec 31); travels to The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; catalogue.
- Encounter: The Royal Academy in Asia, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore (Sep 19–Oct 24).
- From Head to Toe, Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany (Sep 28, 2012–Jun 2, 2013).
- Treasure Island: British Art from Holbein to Hockney, Fundación Juan March, Madrid (Oct 5, 2012–Jan 20, 2013); catalogue.
- Hockney to Hogarth: A Rake’s Progress, Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester (Oct 6, 2012–Feb 3, 2013).
- A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, Tate Modern, London (Nov 14, 2012–Apr 1, 2013).
- David Hockney: A Yorkshire Sketchbook, London: Royal Academy of Arts.
- Order of Merit, New Year's Honours List of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.