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Begins the unfinished double portrait of Gregory Masurovsky and Shirley Goldfarb, American artists living in Paris, and two large paintings of windows in the Louvre. After a decade of working with acrylic paint, he starts using oil paint again. In the autumn Jack Hazan’s film about Hockney, A Bigger Splash, is released. The travelling retrospective, David Hockney: Tableaux et Dessins, opens at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, bringing his work to a wider audience. Begins relationship with Gregory Evans.
David Hockney, Mo McDermott,

Maurice Payne and Christopher Isherwood in Tony Richardson’s empty swimming pool, Hollywood, November/December 1974
A Bigger Splash – Featuring David

Hockney. London film poster c.1975

During a visit from his parents in March, Hockney makes preparatory drawings and photographs for My Parents and Myself, which he eventually abandons. He paints Invented Man Revealing Still Life, which owes much to the work of the early 1960s in its use of a curtain device and a shallow theatrical space. Embracing the challenge of
a new medium he designs a production of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, which premieres in June. Later in the summer he travels to the gay resort the Pines on Fire Island with Geldzahler. In November he packs up his studio in Paris and moves back to London.

Gregory. Palatine, Roma. Dec. 1974, 1974

David and Derek

Bedlam from The Rake’s Progress, 1975

In January Hockney drives from New York to Los Angeles with Gregory Evans. He starts to work extensively with photography. Hockney also makes a series of large, highly detailed academic lithographs for Gemini entitled Friends. He regards these as exercises to train the eye. Joe McDonald and Billy Wilder are among his subjects. Meets the young art dealer Peter Goulds. In March he travels to Australia and New Zealand with Gregory Evans. He spends the summer on Fire Island and, at Geldzahler’s suggestion, reads Wallace Stevens’s poem The Man with the Blue Guitar (1936). His autobiography David Hockney by David Hockney is published.
David Hockney with his painting.

My Parents and Myself, 1976

domestic scene

Looking at Pictures on a Screen, 1977

Etchings by David Hockney, who was inspired by Wallace Stevens, who was inspired by Pablo Picasso is published as a portfolio and book. Also influenced by Picasso, he paints Self-portrait with Blue Guitar and Model with Unfinished Self-portrait, in which he examines painting as the subject of painting. In a double interview with Kitaj in the New Review they stress the importance of the human figure in the history of art and speak out against modernist academicism. In July he paints Looking at Pictures on a Screen, a portrait of Henry Geldzahler standing looking at reproductions of paintings from the National Gallery, London. He travels to New York to begin work on designs for Mozart’s The Magic Flute for the 1978 season at Glyndebourne. This project occupies him for almost a year during which he produces no paintings. For Christmas he returns to London and his new studio at Powis Terrace.

domestic scene

Peter Schlesinger with Polaroid Camera, 1977


In the spring Hockney travels with Joe McDonald and Peter Schlesinger to Egypt to finish work on The Magic Flute. Decides to make Los Angeles his permanent residence. On the way to Los Angeles he stops over in New York and Bedford Village in upstate New York. There he experiments with a process of moulding coloured paper pulp with Ken Tyler, producing a series of twenty-nine Paper Pools. Influenced by Van Gogh he begins
a looser approach to drawing using red-brown ink with a reed pen. A touring retrospective, David Hockney: Prints and Drawings, opens at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and tours North America until 1980 when it closes at the Tate Gallery, London. In Los Angeles in the autumn he begins a 20-foot wide figure painting Santa Monica Boulevard using a new kind of acrylic paint.

Mother, Bradford, 19 Feb. 1978,


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