What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

David Hockney exhibition bound for Bowes Museum in County Durham

An exhibition of prints by David Hockney is to open at the Bowes Museum in County Durham. David Whetstone reports

Self Portrait 1954, lithograph in five colours Collection of the David Hockney Foundation
Self Portrait 1954, lithograph in five colours Collection of the David Hockney Foundation

An exhibition of work by David Hockney, arguably Britain’s most famous living artist, is coming to County Durham in the summer.

Hockney, Printmaker will see more than 60 works by the Yorkshire-born artist displayed at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, as part of the International Print Biennale.

The exhibition will mark the 60th anniversary of David Hockney’s career as a printmaker, focusing on his two main print techniques, etching and lithography.

It will include well known works such as A Rake’s Progress, Hockney’s first major etching project which was inspired by William Hogarth’s 18th Century series of the same name, his Weather series and also his Swimming Pool prints.

Hockney began making prints in 1954 when he was a student at the Royal College of Art.

It is said that he began venturing into the printmaking department when he discovered that it gave out free art materials – a great help to the impecunious student artist that he then was.

The exhibition, curated by Richard Lloyd, head of prints at auction house Christie’s, purports to offer an informative, enlightening and entertaining overview of the artist’s graphic career while shedding light on the thought processes and technical expertise underlying the works.

Bowes staff are delighted the exhibition is coming their way.

Emma House, the mudeum’s keeper of fine art, said: “Hockney has an international reputation of quality and is probably the greatest living print-maker.

“A Rake’s Progress very much pays homage to Hogarth. It is Hockney making the print medium revered again in the same way in which Hogarth did.”

The exhibition, organised by Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Bowes, will also include portraits of some of Hockney’s famous sitters and friends, including his muse, fashion designer Celia Birtwell.

It will also demonstrate Hockney’s relish for technology.

On show will be some of his prints made using photocopiers and examples of his computer drawings, including Rain on the Studio Window, a forerunner to his recent and celebrated iPad works.

The exhibition, to be accompaniued by a series of talks, will open at the Bowes on June 7 and run until September 28.

The third International Print Biennale will take place across the North East from June 27 to August 8 with the 2014 International Print Awards at its heart.

Northern Print, based in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley, established the event in 2009 and in 2011 it attracted an audience of more than 153,000 people from across the world.

It was set up to celebrate the role of print in contemporary art and is the only event of its kind in the UK. See www.internationalprintbiennale.org.uk


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer