April 15, 2012 |
David Hockney A Rake's Progress The Biography, 1937-1975 Christopher Simon Sykes Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: 384 pp., $35 With the deaths last year of Lucian Freud and Richard Hamilton, David Hockney suddenly catapulted into position as England's leading painter. Although the cultivated image of a dandified English schoolboy in white pants, mismatched socks, polka-dot bow tie and beanie is long out of date for an artist who, at 74, is identified with iconic 1960s paintings of Los Angeles swimming pools, the thought is a bit of a shock.
February 12, 2012 |
He may have traded Southern California warmth for the gun-metal skies and windy damp of his native England, but this is surely David Hockney's moment in the sun. His compatriots are busy hailing him as undoubtedly Britain's greatest living painter now that his friend Lucian Freud has died. Queen Elizabeth II just appointed him to the Order of Merit, an honor restricted to 24 Britons at any one time for their contributions to the arts and sciences. In the pages of the Guardian — the left-wing paper to which Hockney regularly dashes off harrumphing letters to the editor — a fashion writer felt moved to confess that the artist, a "brilliantly intentional nerd," was "my all-time style hero.
September 18, 2011 |
Even for legendary decades of change, the 1960s stands out, its impact felt around the world but especially in the Los Angeles art world. The '60s is the point when a number of factors converged that would transform L.A. from just another place that ambitious artists left when they moved to New York into a distinct and thriving art scene in its own right. At midcentury, as World War II was fading from immediate memory, the art associated with that traumatic period, Abstract Expressionism, had become the powerful and entrenched aesthetic.
July 17, 2011 |
Rebels in Paradise The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s Hunter Drohojowska-Philp Henry Holt: 288 pp., $27 After decades of neglect, Los Angeles art history is a hot topic. The most immediate reason is "Pacific Standard Time: L.A. Art 1945-1980," an enormous collaborative venture spearheaded by the Getty Foundation and Getty Research Institute. Dozens of exhibitions and related publications exploring the city's rise as an art capital will appear this fall and winter in cultural institutions from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
January 23, 2011 |
David Hockney may be pretty isolated here in Yorkshire, some four hours by train from London, but that's the way he likes it. Ensconced near the quiet rural landscape he's immortalized in paintings and watercolors, he has more time not only to draw but to experiment with new ways of making art. "We think we're way ahead here," he confides. "We need this little remote place to be observant about the medium. " The art-making medium he's using most often these days is the iPad, brother to the iPhone, which he took up earlier.
May 16, 2010 |
When you get right down to it, the world of opera is a lot like Hollywood. Both professions are filled with big stars with big egos that often clash in colorful ways. And those egos come attached with spin doctors — publicists, agents, personal managers — who are there to make sure that the clashes don't reach the public eye. But sometimes artists spill the beans and word gets out that all is not well behind the scenes. The two lead singers of Los Angeles Opera's "The Ring of the Nibelung" — tenor John Treleaven and soprano Linda Watson — recently spoke to The Times about their problems with director Achim Freyer's avant-garde interpretation, harshly criticizing the production for its lack of dramatic depth.