1937-1963     1964-1968     1969-1973     1974-1978     1979-1982     1983-1987     1988-1993     1994-1999     2000-2005     2006-2010

Begins to write a book about the lost techniques of the Old Masters. As part of his research, he spends time studying photocopies of paintings dating back over five centuries on a ‘Great Wall’ in his Los Angeles studio. The wall begins with a ‘pre-optics’ Byzantine mosaic in Cefalu Cathedral c.1150 and concludes with a ‘post-optics’ Van Gogh portrait of Trabuc from 1889. Likeness: Recent Portrait Drawings by David Hockney, an exhibition of the camera lucida drawings, opens at UCLA Armand Hammer in April. In June Hockney exhibits in Encounters: New Art from Old at London’s National Gallery. Invited to take inspiration from a work in the Gallery, Hockney chooses to depict the gallery warders in 12 Portraits after Ingres in a Uniform Style. Begins paintings of his garden during the summer in London.

Hockney’s book Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters is published. During the summer Hockney travels to England, Germany, Italy and Belgium. He starts work on a documentary about his research into the use of optical devices in art for the BBC: David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge. The exhibition David Hockney Retrospective: Photoworks opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, while the retrospective David Hockney: Exciting Times Are Ahead begins at the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundes-republik Deutschland, Bonn.

Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters, 2001

In New York Hockney works on the revival of Parade: A Triple Bill at the Metropolitan Opera. Sees an exhibition of Chinese painting at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. While staying at the Mayflower Hotel in the city, he begins using watercolour and continues working in this medium when he travels to London. He spends almost one year in Britain. For the first time he sits for the painter Lucian Freud. He sees Thomas Girtin and the Art of Watercolour at Tate Britain. In search of northern light he travels to the Norwegian fjords and Iceland, creating watercolours and sketchbooks of his journeys. Hockney’s second portrait commission, to paint the Glyndebourne chairman Sir George Christie and his wife Mary for the National Portrait Gallery in London, is the catalyst for a series of large single and double portraits in watercolour of friends painted from life. Also produces many pen-and-ink portrait drawings and fills numerous sketchbooks with quickly observed drawings of his life in England and his travels.

Self-portrait in Bathroom Mirror with Sink, New York 2002, 2002

David Hockney and Lucian Freud, 2002

In January a small exhibition entitled Five Double Portraits: New Work by David Hockney opens at the National Portrait Gallery in London, with the portrait of Sir George and Lady Christie as the centrepiece. An exhibition of double portraits and Norwegian landscapes opens simultaneously at Annely Juda Fine Art in London. Hockney returns to Los Angeles where he continues working in watercolour. Attends the ‘Optics, Optical Instruments and Painting: the Hockney-Falco Thesis Revisited’ conference in Ghent, Belgium, in November. Receives an honorary degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and the Lorenzo de Medici Lifetime Career Award at the Florence Biennale.

Sir George and Lady Christie, 2002

David Hockney: Five Double Portraits.National Portrait Gallery, London exhibition poster, 2003


His travels in Spain and France in the early part of the year result in a series of watercolour landscapes. Spends time in Bridlington with his sister Margaret where he records the East Yorkshire landscape through the seasons, including a series of thirty-six watercolour studies. In March, the Whitney Biennial in New York, a survey of contemporary American art, opens and includes Hockney's recent watercolour works – portraits juxtaposed with still lifes of his Los Angeles garden. Travels to Palermo, Sicily, in May to receive the Rosa d’Oro Award. Curates the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with Allen Jones, showing a selection of his Spanish watercolours. Returns to Los Angeles at the end of the year. Hockney’s Pictures is published, an image-based retrospective book selected and organized by Hockney.



Rainy Mornng, Holland Park, 2004



David Hockney painting Ann & David Graves, Los Angeles, 2005



Hockney works on a new series of almost life-size single and double oil portraits painted directly onto canvas with no pre-drawing. In February Hand, Eye, Heart, an exhibition of his Yorkshire landscapes, opens at LA Louver gallery. The thirty-six watercolour studies are exhibited as one work. Hockney returns to England and spends the summer in Bridlington where he paints the East Yorkshire landscape in oil en plein air. Exhibits the single standing figures in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In preparation for David Hockney Portraits, he continues painting portraits including a series of paintings of Celia Birtwell’s granddaughter, Isabella. In September he visits Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. Returns to Bridlington to paint the Yorkshire landscape in the autumn. Midsummer: East Yorkshire is exhibited in the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House, London.

Self Portrait with Charlie , 2005

The Photographer and his Daughter, 2005

1937-1963     1964-1968     1969-1973     1974-1978     1979-1982     1983-1987     1988-1993     1994-1999     2000-2005     2006-2010