los-angeles

David Hockney

L.A. Louver

David Hockney’s colorful persona has long served as a foil for the quiet understatement of his pictorial output. Throughout the 1960s, these two elements—the artist and his oeuvre—were consistently misaligned. On his emergence, Hockney the artist embodied the optimism that gripped the United Kingdom in the postwar years as rationing gave way to what Lawrence Alloway called an “aesthetics of plenty.” Registered in every detail of his carefully plotted social pose was a kind of content that forcefully mitigated the glacial ennui that permeated so many of his paintings, especially those he would make after moving to Los Angeles in 1964.

In recent years, the terms of that equation have been subtly skewed—if not inverted—and nowhere more so than in this latest clutch of watercolors executed in the Yorkshire countryside between 2003 and 2004. As with his last bravura turn at LA Louver, “Looking

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